Storytelling Rule Number Two: Make it Personal

The best stories are the ones that happened to you personally. That’s because they’re unique to you and give the audience something that they can’t get anywhere else.

I was working with a businessman once as he prepared for a presentation. He wanted to make a point about the importance of faith. I urged him to tell me a story that illustrated his point.

He thought about it for a moment and then began telling me a story that was from the Bible.

When I told him not to tell a Bible story, he seemed offended.  “The Bible is important to me,” he said.

“That’s fine,”  I said. “I’m not against Bible stories as a general rule. But they’re not original and therefore not that interesting.”

I explained to him that many people in the audience have already heard almost every Bible story. But no one has heard his personal stories.

“If you want to tell a story about faith, that’s fine with me,” I said. “But tell me your own personal story of faith. Tell me about how your own experience. I can’t get that anywhere else but from you.”

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