I know I’ve written blogs about telling stories before, but I want to go even deeper into this today. There are so many emotions that you can convey to people through stories. They tell something about your personality.
When you are there and you are talking to somebody, and they are in quiet mode – sometimes we’re in quiet mode, sometimes we’re in talkative mode – but let’s say this person is in quiet mode. All of a sudden, you start doing the talking – you’d better be interesting! All of us are interesting because we’ve all done things in our lives – but the difference is in the way we share that story.
How do you share a story? How do you tell a story? Are you a fact person? There are two ways you can tell a story. You could talk about your summer vacation last year, and you could either a) do what many people do and just state the facts:
“My summer vacation last year was a lot of fun. We went to Norway, where my sister’s husband is from, and we all traveled together as a family, and then we went over to London, which I thought was great because it was my first time there. And then we went to New York and hung out with some friends before we came back to Colorado.” Those are facts.
Now, in order to really turn another being on – to turn a woman on – in order to get a new friend – you’d better be interesting.
So here’s another version of that story that I think you need to learn. You’re hanging out, and the other person says, “so what did you do for your last summer vacation?” You say in a very passionate tone:
“Last summer was amazing. It was so great, my sister married this unbelievably cool guy from Norway, and she’s been really happy with him. My sister is somebody that I really didn’t think would find somebody, but she found this guy, and he treats her great, and he’s really big into family. They want to have a big extended family.
So he invited me to come to Norway. Of course, I paid for my ticket and everything, I mean he was generous with his heart, but he didn’t, like, treat everybody….”
As you can see here, I’m using a little bit of humor also as I’m conveying and telling my story. So let’s go back to the story:
“…so it was amazing – I’ve never been to Norway before, and it was just so fantastic, especially in the summertime – it stays light. It’s unbelievable – you’re walking around at 10:30 at night, and the sky is this intense blue color, and the sun is still out, and it almost shimmers off of the buildings.
But people are still out, and it’s a whole different vibe. It’s not like the daytime vibe, where everybody is like walking around all hustle and bustle – but it’s like the nighttime vibe, but during the day. And it was really wild – I would sit there in these cafés, and I’d be tired, but it would be light out! And I couldn’t even imagine going to sleep.
It was great, because he took us on so many different excursions all over the place. We saw some of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen in my entire life – lakes that were shimmering, they were so clear. But they were ice cold, and he told us stories about his family.
We met some of his family, his cousins – it was such a great trip. Not only because my sister was so happy, but because I met some amazing people on the way and made some great friends. The Norwegians are so open – they invite you in to dinner and they make you dinner, and they want you to eat, and be happy, and they share stories with you.
The whole trip was just intense. It was so intense that I really just wanted to go spend time alone. I had a round trip ticket from Colorado to Sweden, but I really just wanted to do something different – I looked at a map of Europe, I threw down a nickel, and I said I’d go wherever it was – even if I’d been there before.
Sure enough, with my luck – it was London. I’ve been to London like seven times, but I was like, fine – no big deal. I’m going to hop Ryan Air, go to London, and have a different experience.
So I booked this really great little hotel that was in Covent Garden – kind of central city if you’ve been to London – but really central city. What I did was just walked around and had a different adventure every day. I would go to different neighborhoods, I would explore different food, and it was just so great to have these three days by myself.
So I could go on and on and on about this, but that’s what I did during my summer vacation last year…”
So, as you can see, there are two different versions of it. I’m sitting here with Pete, a really good guy that is totally quiet one moment, and then starts entertaining me with stories the next moment. I just did one of my bootcamps, and I’m going to ask him right now: do you see the difference in the way those two stories are told?
Pete: Absolutely, man. You feel the difference. You experience one story, and the other one, you just hear.
David: What did you feel? I saw your eyes, but describe it. The first story, I was stating the facts, and the second story, what did you feel when I was telling it?
Pete: Let me pick out one thing. When you told me about how it was like nighttime calm, and nighttime relaxed, but the sun was shining – when you said that, I really recognized that feeling. And I felt it at that moment.
David: And that’s how you bond with people. That’s the big difference. For instance, we’re sitting here right now on a canal in Amsterdam – it’s beautiful. People are going by in boats, and it’s very intense and fun. It’s relaxing. It’s seven o’clock at night, and it’s the big chill, just kind of hanging out before dinner.
Pete, when you were jean shopping today – we took him shopping because we really wanted him to convey a new, hipper, and fresh, fun look – how did you not tell your story? What was that big lesson – that big aha – that you had?
We went into this Levis store, and we’d been jean shopping already – so he already knows what doesn’t look good on him, he knows what does look good. So we walked up to this salesgirl, and he just went into boring guy mode – he just said, “what jeans look good on me, ja?” Am I right?
Pete: You are right!
David: And he just stood there – she was showing him jeans and he was saying, “that’s a nice wash.” But what do you do in that situation when you have such mental block?
You use the power of the story, again. You create that story. So you walk in and you look at her and say, “I hope you are going to be able to rescue me right now,” and she’s going to say, “why?” “Because I have been jean shopping all day long and I just can’t find one that fits my butt right” – you get playful too, in that sense. You turn around, you show her your butt…
Then you say, “I’m going to let you have the power of picking out the denim for me.” You just have a little bit of fun with it. She shows you some jeans, and you ask, “is that the best you can do?” and challenge her a little bit. You get playful a little bit, “is that the BEST you can bring out? Come on, I know you can do better than that!”
We did that in the shoe store tonight – we challenged them with shoes, remember? I said, “show me your favorite pair. Oh, you could do better! Show me a different pair,” and we were playing around with them.
But you create that story. If you’re shopping for shoes, you could talk about how you had a quest for shoes all day long, but we happened to have used jeans. So you see the difference?
You don’t just walk in and wait for people to amuse you – you walk in and that’s how you have great conversations every single time. If that person can’t keep up with you, it doesn’t matter, because it’s obviously not meant to be.
So do you get the difference?
David: Alright, we’ll let’s go walk around and get some dinner!
Todays video is all about how to create powerful openers. The whole idea is to have fun and be playful!!
This post was previously published on www.davidwygant.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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