Your Story: The Best Part Isn’t About You
By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
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?
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.