How to find personal stories?

How to find personal stories?

Personal stories have an immense impact on our audience. But, most of them wonder, What personal stories can I share? My life is boring with the same routine, there’s nothing interesting. 

This is a difficult question which most of the individuals or speakers  ask themselves. And answer for it can be much more difficult to find. I have observed that most of the speakers don’t have any challenge in crafting a story or delivering a story, their main challenge is to find a story.

Since they are asking a wrong question to themselves they won’t find the right answer. In Fact what they really want to know is “How to find a story?”

How to find a story?


This part where I find it challenging as well. To contradict this thought process 

Isn’t our life filled with stories?

Just think about it. Your life is filled with stories. Every moment we encounter stories. We communicate through stories. Then Why is it so difficult to “Find a personal story?”

You may think “Yes Roel, we all know this. We have heard this before etc etc” and now your point of argument will be “In everyday life we don’t encounter something extraordinary . We won’t face a life or death situation just like an army officer nor I climb mount Everest like our parents did to go to school.”

But the truth about stories which make a difference  is,  we don’t have to go through a life or death situation or travel a mountain to tell an interesting story. 

All we need to do is craft a story in a creative way but before that we need to develop a “Story lens” to find a story.

Story Lens

STORY LENS?   What is that?

Well it’s a special lens you develop through practice, which will help you to observe a story in day to day life. Nowadays we are so caught up with our daily life chores, work and chaos. We have lost the art of observation because of which we lost our story lens as well. 

Recall a normal routine day of your life, Imagine you are traveling in a bus. 

What are you doing? Are you observing what’s around or your mind is taking you through a time travel experience i.e. worrying about the future and regretting about past. 

Are you present in the present? 

It’s just like you are wearing a spectacle with broken glass. You think you are seeing things clearly but in reality you are not. And this is what has happened to your STORY LENS. It’s damaged, broken and perhaps it’s completely missing.

And we need to fix it ASAP. (As soon as possible)

If you want to be a good storyteller you need to be a great story listener and observer. 

There are many techniques to rebuild story lenses but today let me suggest one technique which may help you to rediscover your story lens. 

I have learnt this technique from Mathew Dicks one of the famous storytellers in US and it’s calledHOMEWORK FOR LIFE

Homework for life

Yes, you heard it right. And yes, if you want to be a Great storyteller you need to put little effort daily.

So what’s homework for life?

All you got to do is , in a book or in a excel sheet write down today’s date in one column , next column “Story Worthy” moment of the day 

For example 

Date                               Story worthy moment 

07/07/2017                    Feeling low – Beachside – Fisherman – change – stinking notes

I will explain what happened that day. 

I was feeling low one evening, I was seated on the beachside . A fisherman walks across and asks for a 500 rupees note for a Five 100 hundred rupees note. The change which he gave was crumpled and stinking , since I wanted to be alone , I ignored it and was watching a sunset.

That’s all you got to do. 

Now you may feel “What’s great in that , what difference will it make , it’s just a small incident .” 

But wait for it. If you have developed a story lens, you will observe this in a different way.

The change which he gave me even though it was crumpled and stinking , it still didn’t lose its value. When a piece of paper doesn’t lose its value, then why do we let negativity , stinky comments and crumpled thought process , of others make us lose our value.

Do you see the difference? A simple situation with good observation can have a totally different impact.

Now, you don’t expect you will be able to find success and redevelop your story lens immediately. It’s a long process.
But you need to have patience and faith in yourself. Do it faithfully for a month. Then you will be able to find magic in every moment, start discovering personal stories and experience living in the moment. 

Sample of Mathew Dicks “Homework for Life”

Step by Step guide to public speaking, storytelling secrets and leadership secrets

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Note: This blog is not a bible for public speaking. These steps or techniques are most widely used by creative speakers. If you have your own process which you follow, do share it with us in our comment section. If you have any queries or thoughts to share, do leave a comment below.

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