Your Story: Just Tell It


Your Story: Just Tell It

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel

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?


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 |

  1. Jerry, this is great advice. It’s so easy to fall into traps where we talk about ourselves and miss opportunities to make our content more relevant to our target audience.

    I was curious – Can you speak to creating 2-way conversation with an audience and how you would recommend working that in to telling the story?

    • Open-ended questions. Inviting people in the audience to share experiences related to what you’re discussing. Avoid questions that have a “right” or “wrong” answer. Once the people in your audience understand it’s safe to speak out, they’ll generally open up more readily. If you do a questions-and-answers segment, avoid being the person who answers all the questions. Throw the questions up for discussion. I think you want to create an atmosphere where the wisdom of the room resides with the audience, not just the speaker. I know you’re a social media expert, Becky. Isn’t that all about building relationships and conversations? How would you go about doing that face-to-face instead of computer-to-computer? Love this question. I think it’s all about hearing to be heard. What do you think?

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