Ep. 83: You Are Not Special, How You Tell Your Story Is
On this episode of The Storytelling Lab, Rain gives us the hard truth: you are not special. That's right, you're not! But the way you tell your story IS. Rain gives us all the tips and tricks for telling your story in the most unique way and how to maximize its impact on your audience.
People message me all the time saying “I want to tell my story.”
When I ask them “Why?” they usually answer with some version of “Oh, I’ve just had a cah-razy life…” or “People have always told me I’m a great storyteller…” or “I think it might help others that have been through similar situations.”
All of those reasons are problematic. Here’s why.
You are not special.
I mean, you’re special in the way that each one of us is special, or how your mom told you that you were special. You’re special like that.
But no one cares about your story. You think they will because you think your story is cool, or crazy, or funny, but they don’t.
Sorry to be the one to tell you, but it’s true.
No one wants to hear your story.
They can clearly see how it will help them.
See other people, like you who think your story is great and should be shared with the masses, only care about themselves and see the world through their eyes. It’s how we’re all built.
But, if you want to be an impactful storyteller that really effects change with your story, then you have to put your audience first on the priority list. You have to make sure the benefit to them is made clear when you tell your story.
In essence, your story is not really even about you.
Let’s break down those typical reasons people claim they should share their story that I mentioned above:
1. “Oh, I’ve just had a cah-razy life…”
This might be true, but more often than not, not everyone will be blown away by the events in your life like you were. That’s because most of the time, when people say this they’re referring to things that are (unfortunately) quite common -- like losing a parent to cancer, or dealing with addiction, or even being in prison.If you were a pregnant refugee from a war-torn country who narrowly escaped death to flee to another country and then went on to create a company that changed the world…. then, your story alone might be compelling. But if that’s not you, then you need to really think about who you are targeting with your story, why it will resonate with them, and what you want them to feel compelled to do.
2. “People have always told me I’m a great storyteller.”
This one reminds me of “My mom said she loved my singing!” Or more accurately this common one: “My friends all tell me I should do standup comedy.” In actuality, standup comedy isn’t at all about just being funny. Making your friends laugh at the bar is not the same as the cultivated skill of taking an audience through an entire journey with timing, discipline, memory, unique perspectives of
the world, and (above all) the setup and delivery of a punchline. If you’re a natural storyteller, great! But now you have to understand how to use those stories for the greater good and do something with them. You need direction.
3. “I think I could help people who have been through similar situations.”
This one is the closest to our goal with storytelling. In fact, you could help people who are going through similar situations like the ones in your story. That’s a major effect of good storytelling. But the problem with this mentality is typically thinking that you can just tell your story and the world will shake automatically. So if you’re this type of person, you need to focus on delivery, execution, and distribution. And what all those big words mean is that you need to find out exactly where the people you want to help spend their time and then decide what vehicle you are going to use to deliver your stories to them. You’re almost there!
Okay so let me rephrase how I started this post:
You ARE special, but nobody wants to read your shit.
If you’re serious about using your story to better the world, or at least the community you are growing, get serious about learning how to leverage your story correctly.
I’m here to help if you need me.
Peace and Love,
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