#21 A Story of Action and Feeling with Marsha Shandur

I stood in line to get lunch at the conference surrounded by nobody I knew and I was running the internal dialogue that I almost always get at conferences between sessions through my head "I'm here to meet people, I should talk to someone, I don't know anyone, do I talk about what's for lunch? Oh, they are already talking to each other, they don't want me interrupting them, I wonder where my friends are (look around hoping that they're coming to join me), Lara! You came to this event to meet new people not to stand around talking to nobody" when I heard someone in front of me talk about B-school. 

I'd taken B-School! I could offer insight about B-School! I should say that I took B-School. They probably wouldn't mind if I joined in. Okay! I can do this. So I picked up all my nerves and I piped up to the people in front of me who were not talking to me at all "I did B-School!" and they did not glare at me for interrupting, and they did not smile and nod indulgently and turn back to each other continuing to talk without me, but they happily included me in the conversation about the program and all the things we loved about it. The person who had brought up B-School was Marsha Shandur - one of the best contacts I ever made at a conference (I even went to summer camp because of her - find out more about that in episode 6 ) , and she joined me on the podcast this week to talk about storytelling. 

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Marsha has an incredible knack for storytelling online and in person. Her blog engages readers and creates an emotional connection with them - like you really feel like you're part of her inner circle by reading what she shares online. So, how can storytelling help your business? By making an emotional connection with your audience.

What is storytelling?

Storytelling enables you to emotionally connect with your readers which is important because our brains respond differently when we hear facts versus stories. Unlike with facts, we can picture ourselves in a story, which enables people to use a good story to really impact a person.

What makes a great story?

Less narrative.

Being able to incite emotional response.

Granular details! Share the little details – BE the story.

You don’t need a crazy story – just a regular story that people can relate to.

You don’t have to share the entire story. Share snippets! Bring people where you want them to be.

How can I tell a compelling story?

Walk around life with a notebook and pen or use your notes app on your smartphone noting anything you think is a story. Remember that it’s not about telling everyone everything about you; you’re sharing your personality and how you view the world.

Then write the story. Take out the extra details that don't impact the story and instead stick to the action scenes. They key is to not put into too much detail, but instead focus on feeling. Focus on how you felt without taking away the essence of the story.

Don’t start with the end of the story because people won’t pay attention or they’ll focus on the story based on the ending. And don’t throw in spoilers – movies don't reveal the result of action scenes before the movie really starts, so don’t do it in storytelling. Tell the story in chronological order.

Where can you use storytelling in your business? 

You can use storytelling on your blog, on sales pages, in person, at networking events, as a speaker – anywhere there is an opportunity to connect with people instantly.

Bonus Marsha tip about leaving comments on blogs

Comments on blogs are like sunshine pouring into your heart. They mean a lot to the people creating the content.

Resources & Links

Marsha Shandur’s Website

Marsha’s Special Secret Website for Social Media Simplified Podcast Listeners

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

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