How to Pick the Right Story for Every Occasion

By now, you’ve got a few stories in your Story Library and hopefully, you’ve told them a time or two and are starting to hone those stories.

If you don’t have a few stories selected for your Story Library yet, go download a free Story Library Cheat Sheet and get yourself started there!

The problem we often face is figuring out exactly which story from our library to tell. It’s a hard choice.

When I take my kids to the library, they often find me to tell me they can’t find ANYTHING to read. What’s going on there? There are certainly plenty of books for them to choose from. The fact is they’re overwhelmed by the choice and don’t have strategies for narrowing their choices.

When they learned that there were symbols on the bindings for each genre, that helped. My son now scans the shelves for the shoe print that indicates a detective and finds more books to read.

We have the same problem when we work with a well-stocked Story Library. When the moment comes, we have to choose a story to tell and making that choice can be an intimidating moment.

In order to choose the right story, we need information. We need to know who we’re talking to, what they know, what their level of interest is in particular topics, what their level of knowledge is, and so on and so forth. The more we know about our audience the better.

Then we need to decide what we’re trying to accomplish with our story. In other words, what impact do you want your story to have when you tell it. Do you want your audience to laugh? Ask a follow-up question? Share a personal story of their own?

We also have to think about the setting. Is it formal or informal? Is the audience large or small? Are we in a professional setting or is it more personal? Do you have a person’s individual attention or are you speaking to a group. How long can your story be?

There’s an endless list of questions you can ask yourself to pick just the right question. I’ve narrowed it down to five key questions and put them together in the free Perfect Story Every Time Checklist that you can download right now.

Get yourself a copy and keep it handy. If you ask yourself these questions every time you have the opportunity to tell a story, you’re guaranteed to pick a story that will fit your moment and your audience every time.

Posted in Storytelling.

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