Yesterday I mentored a woman who wanted to become a keynote speaker. She was feeling insecure about her potential to make it as a speaker and told me: “Fredrik, why should anyone want to hear my story.”
I told her: “No one wants to hear your story.”
That was not an attack as her as a person, it was a general statement about how most people do not care about other peoples stories.
Unless, you are famous or have done something amazing.
But even IF you are famous or have done something amazing (which is common for people who become speakers) I STILL believe that as a speaker you should not tell your story.
Because there is one thing people care much more about than your story – and that is: What they can learn from your struggles.
I think the minority of a speech should be a persons “story” – the rest should be content based around what you learnt from your struggles and not just packaged around your own life – but exemplified with a lot of stories and examples from OTHER peoples lives, other peoples struggles.
Because when you can take the lesson from you own life and turn it into a human, generic lesson then you will have a much better understanding of the lesson – and people will have a much easier way of connecting with your message.
Remember, a speech is never about YOU – it’s about the message to the audience. And if your whole speech is about you, getting the message across might be more difficult than if you are able to take your story and distill the lesson from it and take that lesson and apply it on other people, other situations, other stories.
Every speaker has a story to tell. But it is seldom that that story is best communicated by telling the story of your story.
Instead tell the message of our lesson.