Whoever tells the best story gets the sale. How do you tell a great story? What if fears are just stories we tell ourselves?
When I had Michael Brenner on my podcast, he shared his storytelling secrets:
The digital world we live in is something that you can take advantage of if you commit to being consistent about it. Twitter came out and I signed up and got a Twitter account. I didn’t get it for a long time. Then I started blogging and I realized that when you add content, you create to an audience you’ve nurtured on the social platforms, the combination of those two things can be powerful. That led me to being asked to do things like podcasts, webcasts, webinars and things like that.
As I overcame my fear of public speaking, I found that I love it. In the digital world that we live in, it’s consistency. I wrote a mission statement for myself that I didn’t want to just sponge knowledge out of the world, I wanted to give back. As soon as I made that commitment, that meant writing and speaking. It emerged and I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I do. The recognition was never something I sought out, but obviously, it’s great to see.
What I hear is that the shift from worrying about what you’re going to do and getting it out to the world in your speaking helps you overcome the fear of speaking, and then the same thing is you don’t want to just take knowledge, you want to give it out. Your purpose is what drives you. I hear that time and again from successful people like yourself, who tell me, “My bigger purpose is, and that’s what drives me, and then the results come from that,” as opposed to, “My purpose is to get recognized as X, Y and Z.” Would that be a fair summary?
Absolutely. To the question you asked, I didn’t seek to become a public speaker, let alone a recognized one, but public speaking was an extension of that mission of trying to share what I know and what I love to do with others. Speaking is one of the platforms that I use to do that.
One of the things you and I share in common in addition to both being keynote speakers is we both have been in the shoes of our audiences because you have this background of working for companies, so you know what it’s like to have a quota and meet deadlines and get promoted and all that stuff. That brings a whole other level of credibility and authenticity. For me, my purpose is to help as many people as possible get off the self-esteem rollercoaster of only feeling good if their numbers are up because I was on that rollercoaster and it wasn’t fun. I love what you’re doing of helping people figure out a way to take the content they’re creating and get a return on investment, which leads us to your great book. If you haven’t seen the cover of Michael’s book, I highly encourage you to go to Amazon.com and look up The Content Formula and buy the book. Tell us where the cover image came from because that’s a great image.
The frustration that led to the book was all around the massive amounts of money that I see companies wasting. There’s not a single company out there of any size that isn’t wasting 40%, 50%, sometimes 60% of either marketing budget or even the time and effort they put into marketing. I tried to dumb it down and simplify it. For your audience who haven’t jumped over to Amazon, it’s an image of a piggybank. It brings you back to those days when you were a kid and you were saving the quarters that grandma gave you in your birthday card. The answer to the question, “How do you stop wasting all that money?” is simple. The frustration that I feel is almost juvenile. It makes me so crazy I want to bang my head against the wall. The goal of the book is to try to shed some light on the simple answers. For example, we’re all storytellers and there are experts inside every company. We had the Super Bowl and you see $5 million spent on a 30-
second ad and it’s easy to see why our egos lead us down paths to creating communications in our companies that don’t resonate. Yet, our companies are filled with great people who have real stories to tell, that can help their customers, and we have to expose that. If we do, we can achieve the ROI and the growth in our business that everyone’s looking for.
What story will you tell about yourself and what you are selling?
To read more on selling go to https://johnlivesay.com/storytelling-keynote-speaker/