Tell us who you are…not just what you want to sell us!
Every seminar I teach, speech that I make, or individual coaching session that I conduct…I always come back to the same conclusion. Communication is never just about what we have to sell or the facts that we know. It's also ALWAYS about who we are!
In a recent seminar, a woman began a presentation with a story about her child - a special child. He was born severely handicapped physically and mentally, grew up with enormous odds against him and a very dim future life. She then told us how she and others had persevered in his treatment, training, and belief in him. The story had a near-miraculous conclusion about what he has become!
She "had the audience" with that story, but she did not stop. She made the point of the story. She told us what she has learned from him and the lessons we should learn: Don't give up on anyone. Even the most unlikely and unexpected situations can produce value and enrichment. People who we may think of as "different" can truly make a difference.
You may think this is a unique story, and it is. Ours may not be that powerful, but we all have experiences and stories. Even if our topic may seem routine or even bordering on uninteresting, we can make it unique and interesting. That usually happens when we tell a story. And it happens best when that the story goes beyond the facts, numbers, or data… when it goes beyond just what you want to sell us to who you are.