Craft a Story People Want to Hear

Craft a Story People Want to Hear“The best stories don’t teach people anything new,” insists Seth Godin, master speaker and entrepreneur. “The best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.”

Our stories have the potential to inspire us and lift us out of darkness. Platform Giant, CEO Shane Purnell, explains that an exceptional story often begins with reference to a personal experience about loss or hopelessness and ends with a call to action that offers solutions to your audience.

Many people believe they have a powerful story to tell. Remember the purpose of telling your story is not to focus attention upon your experiences. The purpose of your story is to help your audience discover their own story in your experience.

A commanding story will establish you as a thought leader. You will, as the geniuses behind will attest, “create influence.” Through influence, you empower others with tools to change their own lives.

A powerful guide called Tips from How to Craft a Story That Attracts Loyal Customers (, 2013) offers outstanding suggestions to help you create a strong story that will invite your audience into your shared experiences and establish you as an influencer.

  1. Embrace Your Story. Your story contains the power to influence the lives of others. When you share your experiences with authenticity, both your successes and struggles, you establish credibility.
  2. Identify the Pain and Offer the Cure. maintains you must “find an audience with a specific pain (or challenge) and offer a solution to that pain.” Identify your target audience. Who do you want to help? To whom can you deliver a message and resources that have value? Be specific.
  3. Connect with Your Audience. Once you identify your audience, you must connect with how they perceive the world. If their experiences represent a past or present version of yourself, you can build relationships with your listeners.
  4. Writing Tips from "Craft a Story People Want to Hear"Write Your Story. Your shared experiences must evoke empathy. Remember the pain from your own past experiences. Draw upon those experiences to build your story. Your story is the collective experience of your listeners. Because you’ve been able to move from the problem into the solution, you offer opportunities to change other’s lives.
  5. Use Your Story. People need to hear the story you have to tell. They want to connect with you. Include it in your workshop presentations, blog posts, in the About section on your website, or in your bio information. Ask your audience for feedback. 

Your story is the bridge that connects you with others. As author, Brené Brown, once said, “If you own your own story, you get to write the ending.” Our stories are meant to be shared with one another. They strengthen us. They empower us.

You have a powerful story. Use it as an opportunity to invite others to write a new chapter in their own lives.

Your audience is waiting.

What story are you ready to write?


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Read powerful storytelling experiences from urban students in Voices in the City School.