In the world of words there is a fundamental piece of the foundational puzzle that needs to be deliciously unearthed in order for you to have impact, impression and influence on your readers — this puzzle piece (or pieces) is/are – Your Signature Stories.
Just think about it, a consummate presenter, a well regarded speaker or an eloquent author all draw on a treasure chest of stories from their own life to enhance, flesh out and add flourish when writing or speaking.
I remember many times where I’ve been reading or listening to someone and their story is what I remember, it’s what hits me emotionally and what connects me to them.
Unearth Your Signature Stories – Become a Sleuth of Your Own Timeline
Try this quick, fun exercise to unearth your own stories to share with your readers, viewers, audiences or clients.
- Look back over your life as far back as you can remember…
- Create a timeline by dividing it into 5 or 10 year blocks
- Think of all the ‘moments’ that stood out to you
- Identify the story around that moment
- What was really going on here? Did you experience a change? How did it change you? Were you at a crossroads? How did you develop? What did you learn?
- Try to identify the exact moment you were in before the experience and then the exact moment you were in after the experience. What happened between the before and after is what’s most important and juicy.
You might find ex-actress Alexa Fischer talking for a couple of minutes about her signature story interesting and helpful. Have a squizz here
It’d be great to aim to develop about 5-10 stories. Depending on your age or life experience the number of stories may be less or more. There is no right or wrong, the stories don’t need to be wild, outlandish or radical — a powerful message can come from a very simple encounter. Once you go along your timeline and make notes you can start to turn these notes into tighter, more succinct stories that you can then use in your work! FUN!
Brands Use Signature Stories
You’ve probably noticed how big brands have been using signature stories in their messaging for years — think of Coco Chanel, Facebook and Apple. We all know the stories of the founders and what their vision was and this helps all of us “identify” with the origin of the company or business. Know what I mean?
Stories Connect Us Deeply with our Tribe and Community
The beautiful thing is that, writing about your story will deeply connect you with your gorgeous tribe, it will form a lovely magical thread between you and them, this is when your writing really becomes powerful and connected.
Fun Fact About Signatures
Wax seals and locks of hair (oh my!) were common ways in the past (very distant past) of signing off on contracts but the signature became common around the sixth century in Europe. Jewish and Muslim communities were signing off on things with a signature even earlier than that. Although, apparently signing off on documents didn’t become really, super popular until the 16th/17th century when education and literacy were on the rise and more written documents were used.
Someone’s signature uniquely identifies them – just like your signature stories uniquely identify you – they stand you apart from everyone else who has ever lived. No one else has your signature stories. That’s why they’re so special and you need to share them.
So, the secret source to connecting with your tribe is in your signature stories, have fun this week having a play and discovering some of your own!
All my best wishes to you this week!
Emma Franklin Bell xx
P.S. Did you know thousands of coaches and consultants have downloaded their FREE copy of my latest book Your Beautiful Business? Download it for FREE here!