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Must a story come from your own personal experience?

Posted in: Communication, Oral Communication, Persuassion, SMEs, Stakeholder Engagement, storytelling Started by

Must a story come from your own personal experience?

Day 18
Burning Question #18
Must a story come from your own personal experience?
Based on my own experience and from general awareness, it is much better to use a personal story. This may not always be possible practically because you may have some complex issues that require third party stories or narratives.


Here are my thoughts on why I think that stories based on personal experience(s) are far more effective.
You are the authority – when the story is about you, you become the final authority on its authenticity. In other words, you don’t open yourself up for unnecessary scrutiny from people who want you to fail professionally, i.e. your competitors.


You can re-enact the emotions – based on your personal sentiments and emotions felt during the incident, you can better re-enact it to capture the attention of your audience. In other words, if the story had happened to someone else, you can’t fully x-ray their emotional feelings.


Credibility – By telling your own story, you are enhancing your personal brand. This means that if the story becomes popular, your reputation grows. Credibility is a priceless asset in the market place today. It strengthens your likability and trustworthiness – not a bad investment.


Signature story – If a personal experience is well-told, and becomes a story by which you are recognized, you have just found a signature story. Audiences crave such stories and if yours is well received, you are well on your way to stardom on the speaking circuit.


Ownership – From conception, to crafting to delivery, it is a demanding process. If you persist through and create a story that you are proud of, you have complete ownership of it because nobody else can tell your story the way that you can it.


Thus in essence, the value derived from a story well told about a personal experience, far exceeds the value generated from telling another person ’s story, no matter how well it is crafted. So do yourself one favor today – craft a story based on a personal experience.