Finding Your Story Sweet Spot

When people come to share a story they most often fall into two camps; those that say they have nothing to say, and others that have too much to say. We often don’t trust that there is a sweet spot in the story of our lives that has value for others.
What is THAT all about?
As Mark Twain once said, he never met a person who did not have a story to tell.
So the nothing to say, or can’t think of anything group need a couple of activating prompts.  They have to start with firstly believing that their experience and their self is worth sharing about for the benefit of others.
The prompt then needs to be an interactive conversation, either with oneself or with another.  There is no right place to start. Just get talking, get sharing, without concern about whether it is Good Enough, or whether it is As Good As Someone Else. Erase those thoughts.
And always remember, this is not all about you. It is about your audience and what they will get from your story. Be a bit vulnerable, have  a go.
The other camp is the too much to say, ‘burbling on’ group.  Again this comes from a lack of self belief or self worth. They are trying to convince you that their story is valuable.
In this case, slash and burn. Try halving the story and seeing if you can still have it make sense. Most often you can. We can over-tell a story very easily with overdoing the detail. 
An example is giving good directions of how to get somewhere. The best directions give key landmarks, and turns, not a description of every house on  a street, just the ones that stand out. Like, look out for the roundabout with a big oak tree on it, then turn right. Not, there are about 17 oak trees outside 23 houses, when you pass those, then turn right in exactly 29.5 metres. Well  a set of instructions like the latter is going to be a real mission.
The Checklist Manifesto is a brilliant book about how even those in highly technical and life and death situations need to use a sharply edited down set of instructions to succeed.

You’ll find the sweet spot of your story by road-testing it and sharing it with others and checking into what the little one liners are that people remember from what you tell them. It always boils down to just one or two sentences. Get hungry for finding out what they are, and be ready to have them be unexpected.

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