By Kathryn Taylor Musseau
Welcome to the first article in a four-part series created to help you discover your story and present it engagingly.
1 Begin at the beginning, right? Well, maybe.
Storytelling has always played an essential part in successful marketing, but when asked to share your story, do you know where to begin or end? The simple answer would be: at the beginning, of course. But not necessarily. Think for a moment. Isn’t it always more exciting to jump into the middle of a scene? So let’s put linear thinking aside for the moment and become storytellers in the most engaging way. After all, we’re creating “her-story,” not history.
2 Your compelling moment
When you think of your business, what is the most pivotal event, the thing that first comes to mind for you? Was it a hurdle you overcame when you started, was it a crisis that almost derailed you, or maybe an incredible achievement? Pay attention to where this question takes you and consider moulding this into the opening of your tale. Begin there and weave the backstory around this.
3 How to weave
Picking up threads and weaving them into a compelling her-story is a combination of knowledge, formula, and instinct. Don’t overlook your gut feelings. Break your tale into three main components: the main event, the backstory, and the resolution. They don’t have to be equal players in this event, but they do have to be coherent. Begin by putting your key points on cue cards or in a spreadsheet. From here, you can quickly reorder them and check the flow. If it’s not engaging to you, it won’t be to others. Always remember to capture the attention and imagination of your audience. Use intriguing examples to create the colour and texture of your story.
4 Make it personal
A point-by-point narrative from a company perspective is okay in some circumstances, but making it personal will engage an audience. First, identify your audience. Who will they be? Then think of questions they might ask you, things they would want to know. Fact: Big Biz Inc. operated in the red for three years. Her-story: There were weeks I struggled to make payroll, but here’s how I did it. Are you getting the idea? Help us feel your pain or your exhilaration. Make it personal.
5 Make it universal
Wait a minute, how do I make it personal and universal at the same time? Think of movies or books you love passionately. Why do they stay with you? Generally, they have an underlying message that is bigger than the self. What might your universal message be? Let’s say you identify with a character because she is funny—Melissa McCarthy, for example. Why do you form an attachment to her? Is it because she seems genuine in all her roles? That’s her universality. What’s your superpower?
6 Make her-story
Don’t hold back or be intimidated by what others may think. It is your story and no one else’s. What if you don’t tell this story? What if no one hears of your experiences? What legacy can you leave for other women who will follow behind you? Decide that, then tell it in your most compelling way. Have you created history or her-story?
Kathryn Taylor Musseau is the owner of Kathryn Taylor Media. Her show Let’s Get Writing runs live on Facebook at Kathryn Taylor Media each week and features writers and publishers in all genres. Her episodes and tips are available on her YouTube channel at Kathryn Taylor TV. For those who prefer to listen, her podcast is available at Podbean: Let’s Get Writing. She also publishes a weekly newsletter, Love Notes. You can subscribe on her website. Her first novel, Misty’s Misadventures, will be available this fall at Amazon and other book retailers. To learn more about Kathryn, please visit her website, www.kathryntaylor.ca, or reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.