Without material, you have no story. So, where do you get the material? Here are some thoughts.
First think about who will be your audience. If you cater more to a Western Culture, who speak mostly English, then you will need materials and resources that your audience will understand. Even though you enjoy writings from Eastern philosophies, like Sun Tzu, your Western audience may not get the point of your story. There is a way around this and we will discuss this more next week.
If your audience is global, then it is even more important to understand what symbols in a multicultural world will best fit the stories you produce. Lincoln’s repertoire of stories stretched from the Illinois’ back woods to the hustle and bustle of Washington elites. From politically correct to obscene. The key was in timing; knowing when and how to use them and what the ROI would be from the punchline.
Like Abraham, you have a lot of personal stories that you have collected over the years. Telling a story that doesn’t always put you in the best of light can work for you, because that means you are opening trust and building a relationship. Heck, we’ve all made mistakes, and when someone makes fun of his/her own short comings it can sometimes build a closer relationship with your audience. This is key for stand-up comedians who tell stories that their audience can relate to.
Lincoln read books. He created and developed his Strategic Stories from the Bible and other non-fiction books he borrowed or bought. Books and stories are what made him a great orator. John Kennedy was another voracious reader, writer and speaker.
Mary Bateson said, “The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.” Metaphors, for the Strategic Storyteller, are the most powerful tools for persuasive arguments. Metaphors, if done right can engage and motivate your listener towards a specific action. When you learn how to tell instead of sell, you will in the end, sell even more.
Reader’s Digest has a host of short and long stories that don’t take much time to read. Here is one I enjoy. How would you use this story?
A pastor decided one Saturday to call on a new parishioner. When he got to the parishioner’s home he saw a car in the driveway. He knocked and knocked on the door with no one response from within. So, he took out a small business card and wrote on back, ‘Revelations 3:20’ and stuck it on the door. It read, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he will with me.”
The next day as he was counting the offering, he found a message on his collection card, “Genesis 3:10” It read, “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked.”
See you Wednesday.