Don’t Swipe Stories — Carve Out Your Own

How is storytelling like sculpting?
(Personal photo)

Are there really people out there telling the same old tired stories about the ship vs. the lighthouse or the Chevy Nova in Latin America? Both are myth, by the way, which doesn’t necessarily disqualify a great story.

What does disqualify a story is that it’s been told over and over again by millions of people, as evidenced by 1.95 million Google hits.

So it was a surprise to me to read, in another bit of advice about speechmaking, that you should come up with your own original stories rather than using the generic ones that have been passed around like the village bicycle.

That thought never occurred to me. In fact, a big reason I wrote my book was because I realized I had so many stories, anecdotes and observations from my life in business and acting that I wanted to share.

I hear people say all the time that they don’t have any stories worth telling. I once felt that way, too. But a few years ago, as I was putting together a new business pitch and working to communicate my approach and point of view, all these great stories from my past came back to me.

So when people say they lack good stories, I think what they really lack is a solid premise. It’s like the chisel a sculptor uses to uncover a work of art from a block of stone. Figure out what you want to say — the point you want to make — and the stories will naturally reveal themselves from the mass of undifferentiated happenings in your life.

Now get carving.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Swipe Stories — Carve Out Your Own

  1. Rob, I love stories and you are right each day we experience tons of them. I always write down when I have an interesting encounter or see some interaction that may be of interest when I lecture. We just need to have our radar on to pick up on them. Great post, have a good evening.

  2. Right, Tina. Sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what you’re looking for — stories that happen to support your particular point of view. Thank you for commenting!

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