Author: Sam Cawthorn
Have you ever thought about how influential you are? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get what you want from life, by learning how to communicate effectively?
Sam Cawthorn, a public speaker who has shared the stage with influential leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Richard Branson, knows how to do just that. Aged just 26, Sam was involved in a horrific car accident and pronounced dead for nearly three minutes. Since then he has used this setback to completely change his life and now travels around the globe sharing his story with millions. Here, he shares his insights with PASA…
Each of us has a unique value proposition that separates us from every other person in the world – and that is our own story. No one else has your experiences, your feelings and your beliefs. I realised this in 2006, when I first started to share my story. I came to see that my personal story has value and it can inspire others.
Everyone, every company and organisation and even products and ideas come with their own valuable stories.
There’s nothing new in this idea. We are told that story should be the key ingredient in our communication strategy, whether we’re in sales or marketing, whether we’re politicians or presenters. We are all expected to be great storytellers if we are going to inspire our listeners and potential customers and motivate them to buy or act.
But if you truly want to persuade your audience; if you really want to inspire your team as a manager or leader; if you want to transform the way others think about an idea, stop telling your story.
Telling comes from a place of ‘I’m not concerned with what you think or feel, I’m just going to tell you what I know.’ ‘To tell’ means ‘to make known, to announce or proclaim, to inform or appraise’, according to the Macquarie Dictionary. It is not a call to action or a compelling way to share experiences. When you tell, you expect people to listen but what do they receive in return? Where is the connection?
I speak in front of over 40,000 people every year and reach over 100 million people annually through social media, all by sharing and showing how my story is relevant to the listener.
Since we were young children we have been told what to do by our parents; we’ve been told by our teachers in school; then, as adults we’ve been told by our employers; and we’ve been told that we have to tell others as well.
Now it is time to start showing.
Through your story, open your heart, show your emotions and vulnerability, and engage with your audience and your clients. Sharing your story this way can help others to find something new in their lives.
Think of yourself as a mentor and a coach, not a teller. Say, ‘Hey, let me try to show you this approach.’ ‘Let me try to show you how this works.’ ‘Let me show you so you can catch these ideas.’ ‘Let me show you why my story is relevant.’
Below is the formula to make Storyshowing work for you.
- Share your story
- Tell what you learnt
- Show why it’s relevant
Every story must be relevant for the listener or they will switch off.
The power of story is indisputable; the power of showing is transforming. That is why the essential tool to master to communicate successfully is storyshowing.
Sam Cawthorn has shared his story on the largest stages in the world sharing the stage with President Bill Clinton, Dalai Lama, Richard Branson & Michael Jordan. He is a master storyshower and the CEO and Founder of Speakers Institute. His latest Book ‘Storyshowing – How to stand out from the storytellers’ is available at all good bookstores globally.