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  • Writer's pictureRain Bennett

Brutally Honest About Storytelling Myths with Francisco Mahfuz

As Francisco Mahfuz embarked on his journey to master the art of storytelling, he made a shocking discovery — that the most captivating stories weren't the grand, epic tales that everyone believed they were, but rather the simple, relatable moments between people. What other secrets will this master storyteller uncover as he continues to defy our expectations and debunk popular storytelling myths?

In this episode of The Storytelling Lab, you will learn how to:

  • Uncover the truth about storytelling and its impact on everyday life.

  • Recognize the significance of accuracy and relatability for powerful narratives.

  • Discover the art of keeping things simple to captivate and enlighten audiences.

  • Adapt your storytelling approach to suit varying objectives and demographics.

  • Create a genuine origin story that enhances and defines your personal brand.



When Francisco was 12 years old, his 7th-grade teacher said “Francisco, please come up here and tell a story to the class."

All the other kids stared at him he had one thought: “Oh no." Half of the students looked horrified for him, and the other half couldn’t wait to see him crash and burn.

He was never a popular kid. But, his mom made a big sacrifice to put him in a fancy private school. That meant he couldn’t afford the things his classmates had, and that made him different.

And when you’re a kid, being different is no good at all, so he never felt like I fit in or that he was cool — but this was his chance to change that. So he got up there and told one of his stories.

They loved it.

The kids laughed, they cheered, they asked for more, and Francisco felt like he was the most popular kid in that school. That is when he first understood the power of stories.

"People tend to think that having a story means you've survived cancer, you scaled Everest, you done something that other people would consider epic or outstanding or surprising. And those can be stories too. But the vast majority of people don't have those stories, and that leads them to think that they have no stories." - Francisco Mahfuz

As an expert in crafting authentic, relatable stories, Francisco now focuses on helping others become more interesting without the need for grandiose experiences.

In this episode, Francisco breaks down the simple steps you need to take to find and tell stories that resonate deeply with your audience.

One of the things I like most about Francisco is his inability to not be direct and straightforward.

(Was that a double negative, technically?_

My point is: he doesn't mince words.

He keeps it real and he keeps it honest...

brutally honest, I'd say.

And that's what I asked him to do in our conversation on the show.

We talked about what specifically people got wrong when it came to storytelling.

Which people, you might ask?

Well, there are two groups:

  1. People like you, perhaps, who understand that they need to leverage storytelling to connect better with their customers, communities, and clients, but get a long of things wrong when it comes to determining WHAT stories to tell WHEN, and, most importantly, WHY. Oh, and HOW and to WHOM!

  2. People like me (well not like me myself), who teach people storytelling but often end up just regurgitating old "storytelling coach" tropes like Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" that sound cool to learn about but are actually really hard for a normal business owner to understand and apply.

So we got into it. Francisco broke down very simply and easily what a story is, what it is not, and how people can find relatable ones throughout their days.

Here is the formula:
  1. Identify relatable moments in your life

  2. Emphasize the emotional impact of experiences

  3. Maintain factual accuracy without overloading details

  4. Showcase vulnerability and authentic emotions

  5. Connect personal struggles with audience experiences

If you are interested in learning the myths of storytelling and how to make telling stories SIMPLE, this is the episode for you!

Other episodes you'll enjoy: 1. Stories that Sell in Three Minutes with DAN MANNING

3. Your Story is Your Unfair Advantage with PATRICE POLTZER Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here:


Some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • 00:01:23 - What People Get Wrong About Storytelling

  • 00:03:26 - Becoming More Interesting Than Netflix

  • 00:07:22 - The Importance of Facts in Storytelling

  • 00:11:01 - Simplifying Storytelling for Audiences

  • 00:15:38 - The Power of a Single Moment in Stories

  • 00:17:47 - Understanding the Audience

  • 00:19:38 - Stories are "The Smallest Slice of Life"

  • 00:22:02 - The Importance of Stories in Keynotes

  • 00:26:46 - Teaching Storytelling by Example

  • 00:31:32 - Importance of Tailoring Storytelling Approach

  • 00:32:10 - Becoming Better at Storytelling

  • 00:32:24 - Overestimation of Storytelling

  • 00:34:22 - Give Me an Example Approach

  • 00:35:49 - Guest's Background and Inspiration

  • 00:47:48 - The Importance of Small Moments

  • 00:49:34 - Finding Clarity Through Storytelling

  • 00:52:17 - The Importance of Clarity and Confidence

  • 00:53:11 - The Power of Meaningful Storytelling

As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Peace and Love,



Follow Francisco on:

Or visit her website HERE!

For more storytelling tips and tricks,

Visit my website, or

Follow me on TikTok @rainbennett_storycoach

Follow me on Twitter @rainbennett

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