I once had a client who asked me to. . .
Yeah, a story.
You probably want to hear how it goes. But I’m not going to tell you that story right now, I’m going to give you some advice about story telling.
My first piece of advice is to do it. Put stories in your articles and presentations and conversations.
People love a good story, which means they’ll be more likely to read or listen to you when you tell one. They’ll be more likely to understand and remember your story, more than your other words, and remember you as the one who shared it with them.
Facts tell. Stories sell.
Second, talk about people your reader will relate to, and tell them three things:
What did they want? What did they do? What happened?
The essence of every story ever told.
Third, use “The Goldilocks Rule”: Not too much, not too little, just right.
People love stories, but they don’t have time to read them when they are impossibly long or there are too many in your emails or blog posts.
If they wanted to read a book, they’d read a book.
Which is why most of my emails and blog posts are short and sweet and yours should be, too.
The good news is that you can tell a good story in a few sentences.
Like the time a friend asked me to sign a letter she had written to her landlord, with my name and address typed at the top and filled with typos, and when I refused and told her I would write the letter, on my letterhead, she was hurt and thought I just wanted to ‘make money off her’.
I need one more sentence to tell you ‘what happened’.
What happened is she dropped the subject but never forgot that I ‘refused to help her’ (the way she wanted) and our friendship was never the same after that.
Stories don’t always have a happy ending.
Anyway, I’m done telling that story. I’ve got another one to tell you, but that will have to wait until next time.
If you related to my story, maybe remembered a time a friend or client asked you to do something you didn’t want to do, I’m pretty sure you’ll come back to hear another.
Which is what your readers will do when you tell them stories. But not too many or too long.