Tell Your Story to Build Rapport
Tell your story – that's one of the first things you learn about presenting a webinar, right? Have you heard one of your sister entrepreneurs complain that she signed up to listen to a webinar, and the presenter spent “too much time telling his (or her) story?” I hear that complaint a lot – and I've experienced it myself.
So…..is it bad to tell your story? No, it's not bad. It's OK. At the same time:
- It's cheesy and irritating to go on forever.
- It's OK to offer your prospects social proof that you are expert at your topic, but it's off-putting to belabor and brag.
- It's OK to outline the success you've had, but it's not okay to embellish your success.
In a webinar, this factors in, too.
- If you signed up to attend a free webinar, you can expect more “story” as well as an offer. After all, the person you are listening to is marketing – sharing some knowledge, and hoping that you will be drawn to buy what she is offering. That's her living. She's invested her time and money to do this presentation for you.
- If you paid to attend a webinar, however, you have every right to expect less “story” and a very quick “here's what else you can get from me” offer. Definitely, a paid webinar should be 90 to 95% what you paid for.
You may wonder, why should I tell a part of my story? (No one can possibly tell ALL her story.)
- People want to know more about you as a person.
- They want to know if you have social proof that you know what you're talking about
- People are curious about your life.
- Telling your story creates an emotional bond with your listener, which you want – and they want that, too.
What is too much story – when to stop
Here's a great example from a masterful storyteller and speaker, my good friend Paul Evans. Sometimes, depending on his audience and his speaking topic, Paul shares his story that his first wife died just a few days after giving birth to his oldest son – died right in Paul's arms at home. It's a powerful story, and it causes his audiences to lean in and form a bond with him. However, as Paul himself says, “Your listeners want to hear about the train wreck, but they don't want to see the blood.” Meaning – Paul is masterful at telling the heart-wrenching story of losing his wife and being left with a new born son. He tells this, and he moves on to tie the points of his speech to his story. He doesn't go on and on about each detail – it's more than his audience wants to know.
Here are a few guidelines for you.
- Tell a part of your story that fits with your audience and will be meaningful to them. As an example, if I was talking to a group who has had big health challenges, I might tell the story of almost losing my ability to walk back about 5 years ago. But if I'm talking about marketing, that story doesn't apply.
- Make your story succinct, and a little humor doesn't hurt if it's a sadder or darker topic.
- Build a solid bridge between your story and the point of your webinar, or speech. Show your listeners how it is connected and how it adds value to them to know this part of your story.
- Don't ever tell a part of your story that you aren't comfortable with the whole world knowing. Once it's out, it's out.
Your story should point out what you've learned – your wisdom, your expertise, your adaptability. It should help your listeners think, “I could do that, and she could help me with it, too.”
It's not bad to tell your story. It is bad to misuse your precious story. Inform and teach, don't manipulate.
If you feel unconfident about telling your story, here's a quick article for you.
Would you like my help in crafting your story and tying it to your offers? I'm happy to chat with you to see how I can help. Book a complimentary 20 minute call with me at this link: https://bookme.name/