Let me speak today to people of influence who usually present in stages and platforms of whatever form: Never discount the power of a story. It can be your story or other people’s story. Behind that story is a point, a lesson, a gem.
In November 2013, something big was about to happen in my career as a writer. And I was talking to myself, “Am I ready to put this out? What will happen once it is published? Am I ready to make myself and my stories public?”
These were my questions as I was about to publish my very first book The Gift of the Ordinary.
As I received the final book cover design, I was so thrilled but also terrified. I told myself, “Putting this book out there will make me very vulnerable to critics and scrutiny – not only on how I write but also on how I live my life.”
I was so excited but also reluctant.
It took a while for me to fully encourage myself to publish it.
Finally, I told myself, “Alright. I’m ready. This book is going to come out in December.”
What moved me even more was when I received the testimonial from none other than the bestselling author and who I consider a great mentor – Bo Sanchez. He said, “Nothing beats simple stories and powerful lessons. Thanks Chris for unwrapping your gift to the world.”
As I read his message in my inbox, I got so excited that I started jumping up and down.
In December 2013, the book was published!
Once in a while, I would pick up the book and read it. Everytime I do so, I feel two things. First, I feel shy – because of some errors in grammar and semantics that we missed. But second, I also feel happy and fulfilled.
Readers say they were moved and inspired. Some even say they also want to write their book.
A nun said that she went back to her “ex” – which is writing. I realized that the book resonated not because of excellent use or rather the wrong usage of grammar but because of the simple stories shared. This moved me to keep telling my simple stories whether in my written or spoken message.
Stories are powerful. Stories are relatable. Stories can make your message more impactful.
This is why, in the books I write and the speeches I deliver, I share stories. Sometimes I use stories of other people, but mostly mine – from simple ones to seemingly grand ones, at least in my perspective.
Yes, I continue to use stories. And since I care about my message and my audience, I should care about conveying my message more effectively. That is with the use of stories.
How about you? Are you a teacher, preacher, priest, professor, or even a politician? Are you a leader and a communicator? Yes, you can have a wonderful content, a well-researched topic. But it is not enough to simply present the facts. Supporting stories would make it solid. Try it. It works! (In one of my seminars, we talk about using stories to solidify your speeches.)
You have wonderful lessons to share, you have messages that only you will be able to convey in your own way. The world needs your message. The world needs your story.
(Chris Dao-anis aims to empower his fellow young minds with practical instruction and inspiration in the fields of communication and personal leadership. He authored three books to date: The Gift of the Ordinary, 7 Keys to Achieve Your Aspirations, and Living Large in the Little Things. For talks, seminars and speech coaching, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can order his latest book at a specially discounted price at www.chrispoweracademy.com/livinglarge. He extends his thanks to those who attended the FREE Living Large Seminar & Book Launch last Sep 10.)