Storytelling : Tell me about yourself

Tell me about yourself? What is the story you tell when asked that question? If you have ever wondered what is the best answer to that question, then this blog is for you.

In 2006 Melbourne, there was a sense of anxiety in the office corridor conversations amongst my team members. A new boss was starting next week. She had a reputation of being a hard task master. Not many people liked her, and that made me slightly nervous too. 

The first day she got there, she was brought into the boardroom to be introduced to her team, which included me. There was pin-drop silence in the boardroom. I could even hear my colleague’s heavy breathing gushing in my ears. Actually, if I listened carefully I could hear most of my team members breathing so rapidly it almost sounded like they were hyperventilating.

She said, “Hi, my name is Tamara, I am excited to take the position of director of marketing. I have worked in marketing for many years but what I am really good at is Strategic Marketing and that is the strength I bring to this team. We are great at generating revenue but not so good at generating profit.”

A penny dropped for me.

In that instant I knew why she was the youngest and most successful woman in our organisation. She knew exactly what her story stood on. Think of it, when it comes to telling your story, the organisations base their stories on a certain well defined identity.

  • Microsoft tells the story of productivity.
  • Apple tells the story, “Think Different”. 

Tamara had that same kind of clarity in her story, which is what made her so successful.
Most of us introduce ourselves like so: “I am XYZ working as Marketing Director in ABC” But that is just your name, company and title. It is not your story. 

There are 3 layers to your story:

  • I am XXX ( your name ) 
  • I work at YYY as ZZZ ( your company along with your role ) 
  • What I am passionate about JJJ ( what is your unique value proposition )

This lets me know about your passion, which adds much more of a sense of confidence, and gives me an awareness of your identity.

 It also shows the choice you have made to create your identity. The identities we create because of the choice we make tell  a lot more about our characters than we can imagine.

Hope you found this insight on storytelling helpful and if you did, please share the article and join Storied Book Club by clicking  here. If you are already a member of the book club, then Stay Storied!

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"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"