189: On The Thing That Might Be Holding You Back from Sharing Your Story

On this week's episode of This Moved Me, neuroscientist Carmen Simon shares her tips for speakers to help them create talks that audiences remember.

Today’s episode is based on a conversation I had with one of my speakers, who has also been a guest here on This Moved Me… I’m a HUGE fan of his, and he’s doing such important work. Tony Loyd. He’s the host of the Social Entrepreneur podcast, and he’s really building up his speaking work, because he’s so driven to get his ideas out into the world. He is NOT interested in getting HIMSELF out into the world… he’s on a mission to get great ideas out into the world.

He’s very typical - what I call - an unspeaker.

Despite the fact that he’s incredibly experienced - he’s been in the C-Suite, he’s been up on front of audiences for years - he still has a level of self-doubt or fear or myths that get in the way of him fully owning the moment and… to the point of my show today… his story. 

(By the way, EVERY SPEAKER struggles with this… unspeakers just admit it, and vulnerably walk into their efforts to change it… which is what makes their talks so compelling, authentic, and moving…)

So when Tony and I sat down to work on his 2nd TEDx talk… he shared that he wasn’t as happy with his first talk as he wanted to be… it was good, great response… but he also knew he could do more, dig deeper (unspeaker!)… And he mentioned - so honestly - that he knew he needed to share more of his story… but he was afraid that somehow sharing about HIS story made it about him. All me me me, he said. 

Which is a myth of our origin stories - or ANY story we tell. If it’s our story, the point isn’t to talk about US… the point is to open up the connection between the experience, and the idea. 

(Now - there ARE some speakers whose talks are just me me me. Here’s a story about my success, and here’s another story about my success… and here’s just one more, aren’t you learning so much about how to succeed? Ugh. no thanks!)

The truth is: our stories - if they’re ours - have GOT to be about us. 

But the point is not to share about US - the point is to open up a connection between us and the audience. 

And here's why it works: STORIES are incredibly brain-friendly! - we are wired for story. This is true in the research, but as a coach, I’ve seen it again and again… stories are the things that pull people back in. 

And what’s happening in the brain is we’re opening up the mirror neurons… and the audience - if told well - is SEEING IT in their brains. And as soon as that happens, you are connected. I call it the “imaginative connection” - it’s a superpower that we speakers hold… IF WE USE IT WELL.

So origin stories...what are they?

They answer one of the biggest questions we hold in our brains as an audience - which is “WHY?”…. origin stories are not just a powerful tool of connection to an IDEA - they are a powerful connection point to US. 

We talk a lot about authenticity. It can’t happen until we feel like we know you. 

Which is what I told Tony that day. 

Tony - you are not just the messenger of the idea - you ARE the idea. It comes from You, your experience, your insight, your moments in time. And if we can hear those = see those in our brain - and believe them… then we are about to do something awesome together. 

So… if you are feeling anxious about sharing your origin story because you’re afraid it will be too ‘all about me.’… I want to encourage you o dive in .People who have an awareness and consciousness about being too ‘all about me’ aren’t typically the ones who have that problem. 

Next week: we’ll talk next week bout taking your ME story and make it an US story…

  • One of the biggest myths of sharing our stories
  • When it DOES become about you, you, you
  • Why stories are brain-friendly!