Storytelling is a powerful technique for business owners to communicate their expertise and results.  What are the 9 most common storytelling mistakes to avoid?

Stories can connect you to and with your audience.

Stories humanize you.

Stories allow you to provide value to your target market.

Stories are a unique way to show results to the audience in a powerful way without being “salesy”.

Here are 9 most common storytelling mistakes I have discovered:

    1. Too much background or history.

      The target length of background information should be 10-20% at most of the total story. Your audience is familiar with the concepts, so lengthy  background is not needed.  Get to the information the audiences craves.

    2. Weak lessons learned or benefits.

      The big win for your audience is the benefits or lessons learned and need to move them or compel them to take action. If they are not talking to you afterward on how they can get that same result, your story needs more work in this area.

    3. Sharing a story too soon.

      The audience is not your therapist. Make sure that you have healed, resolved or learned from your story so that you can comfortably share it.  The comfort level is for you AND the audience.  Negativity, preaching, and venting are best left to your closest confidants.

    4. The story is for the Audience, not for You.

      Share the story details the audience needs to know to connect with you and to understand the lessons.  Sometimes less is more, and let them imagine some of the descriptive details on their own.

    5. Too many details.

      Like tips #1 and #4, provide the details the Audience needs and wants. Most of the time what you want to provide aren’t relevant for the listeners or audience.

    6. Missing a logical step.

      When you skip a logical step in your story, you lose the audience.   They start to think about the piece that you missed and not concentrate on your story.

    7. Using someone else’s story.

      By using someone else’s story, you are not unique nor seen as an expert or thought leader.

    8. Not giving credit.

      If you use someone else’s idea, or story, give reference or credit to them.

    9. Not practicing enough.

      Practice your story so that you are comfortable telling it.  Practice telling the story in a mixed up order and have it still make sense.  Get comfortable with the story, but I do not recommend memorizing it.  You want it to be solid, but not rehearsed.  Practice in front of people and get feedback from a trained speaking professional. Record and video yourself so you can pick up on nuances in voice, face and mannerisms that you are not aware.