Telling Your Story: Be Authentic
By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
Tell Your Story: Author Stephen King points to J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as the inspiration for his famous Dark Tower books. But King says he read Lord of the Rings when he was 19 and didn’t write the first book of the Dark Tower series until several years later. Why? “I wanted to write my own kind of story, and had I started then, I would have written his.” When telling your story, tell your story — not someone else’s dressed up to look like it’s yours. Part of your story is who you are, not just want you say. Include some personality in your story.
Be Authentic: It’s hard for the rest of us to take you seriously if we don’t believe you because we think you’re faking it or because we think you’re insincere. You have something to say? Say it. Don’t hide it in euphemisms and indirect language.
Make it Relevant: Your favorite part of your story is the part about you and how wonderful you are. Our favorite part of your story is the part about what you can do for us or what’s interesting to us for our own reasons.
To quote Stephen King again: “The ‘serious’ novelist is looking for answers and keys to the self; the ‘popular’ novelist is looking for an audience.”
If you’re telling your story as self-therapy, that’s okay. And focusing on your favorite part of the story because you’re telling it for yourself is just fine.
But I believe most of us telling our stories in a business environment are looking for an audience. And that means you need to make your story relevant to the rest of us if you want us to pay attention to what you have to say.
That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?
Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He helps clients develop content for telling their stories. He helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.