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Archive for June 2012

Telling Your Story: You Know Too Much

 

Telling Your Story: You Know Too Much

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Telling Your Story: You Know Too MuchSometimes you can know too much for your own good, particularly when it comes to telling your story.

Why? Because we’re all tempted to include too much information in our stories.

It’s easy to take something that’s simple and make it complicated. People do that all the time.

It’s much harder to take something that’s complicated make it simple. And some people resist doing it. They equate simplifying your story with dumbing it down.

I’m not suggesting you dumb down your story. I am suggesting you simplify it.

Pare your message down to its essence. And craft it in a way that will attract our interest.

All those facts you want to share all at once right at the start?

Save them to share over time, once you know what part of your story we’re interested in exploring.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also 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.

Your Story: The Best Part Isn’t About You

 

Your Story: The Best Part Isn’t About You

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Your Story: The Best Part Isn’t About YouWhat’s your favorite part of your story? The part about you. Right?

There’s one little problem. That’s the part of your story the rest of us like the least. Why? Because it’s about you, not us.

It’s not your fault. One of the things we all share is that our favorite subject is ourselves. I’ve been making that point to clients for years. Now, two Harvard scientists have come up with evidence backing it up – and demonstrating why it’s true.

Talking about yourself stimulates the same kinds of pleasure sensations in your brain as food, money and sex, according to a paper published by the two scientists and publicized in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

According to these scientists, the Journal reports, “about 40 percent of everyday speech is devoted to telling others about what we feel or think.”

The Journal says the scientists conducted several experiments in which people were given a chance to collect a small amount of cash or talk about themselves. Many of the people tested willingly gave up some of their earnings so they could talk about themselves.

And the scientists also did brain scans that showed “heightened activity in brain regions . . . associated with the sense of reward and satisfaction from food, money or sex.”

So, it’s no surprise your favorite part of your story is the part about you. But don’t forget about the rest of us. If you want us to stick around long enough to hear what you say and do or believe what you want us to do or believe, then you have to make your story – including the parts about you — relevant and interesting to the rest of us.

How do you do that? Don’t spend your time bragging about yourself. Tell us how you can help us. And use the part of your story that’s about you to convince us we need to buy what you’re selling from you.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also 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.

Your Story: Just Tell It

 

Your Story: Just Tell It

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Your Story: Just Tell It.You have a story to tell?

Just tell it. Because if you don’t tell your story, who will?

Don’t know how to start? Or what to say after you do? Then ask yourself this question: What do you really want the rest of us to know about you, your company or what you sell?

Don’t dress it up or try to refine it. Tell yourself the version that lays out what you want to say in its raw, unedited form. Let go of any doubt or self-judgment and tell yourself what you would really like to say to the rest of us if you could do it without any fear of backlash or failure. What does that version of your story look like? Don’t edit yet. Just tell it.

Once you’ve done that, ask yourself these questions:

  • If the raw version of your story is all about you — and chances are it is — how can you make it more relevant to the rest of us? Why should we care? What’s in it for us? Make those changes to the raw version of your story.
  • Are there any parts of your story you’re reluctant to tell because you’re afraid of what might happen if you do? If so, what are you afraid will happen? Is the danger real? Or just an excuse that keeps you from telling your story? If the danger is real, is there a way to remove the danger but tell us what we need to know to care about your story and do what you want us to do? Make those changes to the raw version of your story.
  • How can you shorten your story? Most of us say too much when telling our story. What can you take out to boil your story down to its essence? Answer the other questions before you tackle this one. But once you get to this question, be ruthless. Take out as much as you can. This is like sharpening the blade of a knife or a pair of scissors. If you take the extra stuff out of your story, it will become sharper — and more effective.

Once you’ve answered the questions and made the changes I’ve suggested, your story should be ready to share with the rest of us.

You have a story to tell? Just tell it. And keep telling it over and over and over because most of us won’t hear it the first time you tell it. And if you don’t tell your story, who will?

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also 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.

Telling Your Story: Create a Moment

 

Telling Your Story: Create a Moment

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Telling Your Story: Create a MomentIf you want to be remembered, say something worth remembering. Timid messages are easily ignored and forgotten.

Your audience won’t remember all the “facts” you throw at them. If they remember anything at all they’ll remember the one most compelling thing you say. The more compelling and the more memorable, the more likely they are to hear it and remember it.

Far too many companies are timid when it comes to telling their story. And they focus too much attention on little details that have nothing to do with their success in telling that story.

So, when it’s time to tell your story start by figuring out how to create a moment for your audience. That’s the key to getting remembered. Everything else is filler.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

————-

Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also 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.

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