Storytelling is Your Ultimate Currency, Trade on It

Image credit: STIL

Image credit: STIL

Orality was and is the first form of human communication. And oral storytelling was the one way for people to pass on information. Today, storytelling remains at the center of all that we say and do. People connect with others when they identify with their stories, making storytelling the most effective presentation technique. Hence, storytelling is the single most powerful tool in your personal branding toolkit. When done authentically it connects the dots, creates relevance and drives action. Personal branding helps to position yourself in a crowded market, helping you to attract better opportunities, higher paying jobs, and more clients.

Here is the method I use to clarify my clients’ messages and position their expertise to tell their authentic and compelling story. Enters the CAR Storytelling Structure. The CAR Storytelling structure is the most effective, because at its core is where you have been, what happened, and why you’re sharing the story.

image credit: Jason Briscoe

image credit: Jason Briscoe

 

The CAR Storytelling Structure

Challenge and Context: If you think about any good story, you will find that they begin with a set-up. This is where you provide context by introducing your audience to the key characters, painting a brief picture that identify the treasure (or desire), and explain the challenge of who or what is getting in the way.

Action: Once the primary characters or players are introduced and context provided, it is time to describe the action that was taken to solve the problem. Share the decisions made and the steps taken to try to overcome the challenges. Take your audience on the journey of the highs and lows.

Results and Relevance: Now it’s time to tell your audience the relevance. Did you win or lose? What was the impact of your actions. Share with them your measurable results, then tell them the moral of the story. Let your audience know the main lesson you wanted them to learn. Share a clear reason (why) you told them the story, then give them a call-to-action.

We're all storyteller's at heart, however, it's an ability which develops with practice. In the meantime, let me help you tell your story.