For years stories have been a huge part of my business as a motivational business speaker. Today storytelling is a hot topic and has become so popular in business and marketing. In a world where we’re all striving to cut through the noise and make a lasting impression, stories have become a tool to get us noticed and remembered. Great stories are memorable, they get our attention and stories put ideas into the world. Stories make the facts and figures come to life! Stories are sticky and fun and best of all, everyone has one…but your story, your signature story, will never be heard if you don’t tell it.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou
Your Signature Story…
The days of canned, memorized speeches are long gone. Today audiences are hungry to see authenticity and vulnerability and connect on a deeper level with the speaker.
Stories are bridges from one mind to another. Robert McKee
Your story has the ability to weave a connection between you as a speaker and your audience. We are living through dynamic times that are both inspiring and troubling, often at the same moment. In the face of such dramatic change, we know how easy it is to get discouraged, disappointed, and even overwhelmed. It is not hard to feel at times small and even insignificant. But as I travel and speak I have also seen that in the face of such unprecedented change, in addition to some big hurdles, there are also big opportunities.
Our stories help us realize that we are not facing any of this alone, and through our stories we can encourage, support and elevate our listeners.It all begins by identifying the obstacles of those who are listening. Once you know what keeps them up at night, you can tell your own personal story of how you stumbles and learned; struggled and conquered; questioned and found peace to move forward in your own life. Expect miracles from storytelling.
Stories have power!
Once you begin to tell your story over and over…the magic happens. After telling your signature story at every engagement, you become known for that story. Over time you become so good at performing your story that people ask for it again and again. Most speakers that I know personally have many great stories and the really successful ones have a signature story that stands out from all the rest.
How My Signature Stories Came to Be
In 1999 I closed my last clothing store in Houston, Texas and I was itchy to start another business with no inventory or rent to pay! A good friend of mine invited me to a National Speaker’s Association local Houston chapter meeting and that was the night the class of 1999 “speaker newbies” were presenting on stage. As soon as I saw a few of the presentations I was hooked, signed up and was accepted in the class of 2000 NSA Houston New Speaker School – where I learned the ins-and-outs of professional speaking.
In 2001 I began speaking professionally. That spring I went to the Jazzfest in New Orleans, and that is where I met Sting (really)…and my first signature story was born. It had all the right elements… a great setting, a challenge that I had to overcome, humor, and of course meeting Sting (at the NOLA airport on my way back to Houston)! Right off the bat, my Sting Story was a hit, and each time I performed I wove that story into my presentation. I kept improving the story and even had a $$$$$ coach work with me on making it even better.
( this takes me back to 2004 – 2007…I have improved!)
By 2004 I was being booked by clients asking for the Sting Story. Once I did not put I Sting into a presentation for an insurance client, because I didn’t think that it fit in the program and the planner was furious with me for leaving it out!
In 2007 I created a new story called You Rock and it took off…well .. like a rock-et! I started getting testimonials saying You Rocked It… and I put Sting away on the Shelf. After writing this piece I have decided to bring Sting back, dust him off, and introduce him to the Millennials.
I am passionate about helping people create and present their signature story…