“Storytelling is not something we do. Storytellers are who we are.” -Carmine Gallo
I was at an art show recently where my work hung alongside several other artists. During the show opening, I stood near my work meeting guests and discussing my art. Over the years, I have been asked many questions including “How did you do this?” or “How long did this take you?” or “What does this piece mean to you?” Answering questions is fun way to connect with viewers. At this particular show, one person asked about the work, how long I had been an artist, and then asked me about my story.
Every person has a story that is meaningful. We have all had fascinating experiences, trauma, happy, and sad times. Our life is a combination of lines, shadow, and light, similar to a great painting. Each human has an interesting story worth hearing. I too have a story, but what part of my story is significant to this moment, this show, and this body of work? I could talk about how I grew up on a farm always creating or how my family of strong women influenced my work.
Stories are not just about the content, but how it is told. In this instance, if I said too much (with little emotion and color) or too little (without any details), I might lose their interest in me and my work.
The importance of a story is key to connecting with others. Sometimes, as in this case, we may only have a few seconds to tell someone about ourselves. It can be difficult to determine what to say and how to say it to leave an authentic impression. Stories bring meaning to our lives, simplify the world, and enhance our sense of belonging. We want to hear and we want to share stories.
A quick 3-step tip to build a narrative include telling a meaningful story, being concise, and emphasizing emotion over concepts.
At our next Thrive meeting on January 2nd, will discuss Effectively Telling your Story with presenter Donna Ricardo of Red Stiletto. Donna is a professional speaker and trainer, author, and has presented keynotes, seminars and training programs to thousands. She is passionate about filing the gap of women communicating and expressing themselves, especially with public speaking.If you haven’t been a guest at one of our meetings, you can find out more and register here.