Why holistic practitioners need to be better storytellers

Click on the photo to view the interview with Madeline!
Communication secrets for creative solo-preneurs with Madeline Schwarz

The holistic practitioners I mentor are some of the most innovative, creative people I know. They have synthetic minds and see connections that other people miss. They have a rich inner life, but sometimes struggle to get their brilliant ideas out to a larger audience.

If this is you, you may be an introvert trying to thrive in an extrovert-centric culture. With some basic communication skills and clarity about your message, it’s totally possible!

In this conversation, communication expert Madeline Schwarz and I explore the power of storytelling to do just that. This one skill will help you expand your reach whether you are writing, speaking conversationally, or giving presentations.

Madeline is an introvert who has mastered the art of engaging an audience, no matter how large. If she can do it, so can you.

Storytelling is something that I make sure all of the holistic practitioners in my Mastermind Groups know how to do.

We go through a rigorous process of:

  1. Making a list of 3 – 5 core values that guide us in everything we do.
  2. Creating a one word, one sentence, and one jargon-free paragraph version of those core values.
  3. Having one story that illustrates how each value plays out in our work, in the world.

Those stories are very moving and reach people much easier than concepts or single words like “kindness,” which are, unfortunately, so overused they can become meaningless.

The human brain is wired to remember stories 22 times more effectively than just facts alone.

Another reason stories are so powerful is that your listener can come to their own conclusions about what your story means to them. Engagement happens naturally and you don’t have to exaggerate or force connections.

Here are 5 tips from the video:
1. Embrace your strengths as a creative introvert

You have highly developed observation skills. You see and hear a lot because you are not always talking! Because of this, you have a rich inner world of insights and ideas. All you need to do is work out which of those insights are the most important ones, and what highlights of your story communicate that clearly.

2. Tell Engaging Stories

Choose a targeted and concise story that will captivate your audience, not bog them down in details that don’t enhance the point you are trying to make. I know, I know, it’s hard to let go of all those beautiful juicy details!

Most of the folks in my Mastermind Groups are embodiment practitioners. We all know a ton of anatomy and science and we love geeking out on it. However, your intended audience might not need all that info to engage with your message. It might actually overwhelm them. Just give them the highlights that move your narrative forward, and let them ask questions if they want to know more.

3. Celebrate small, intentional improvements in your communication skills

After each storytelling experience, whether it’s written copy, live presentations, or talking to someone at a party, take time to reflect on it afterwards. Did you feel uncomfortable or experience negative self-talk afterwards? It could be you sensed your audience disengaging. Talk to a friend or colleague to see if you can figure out where and why that happened. Choose one thing to improve and celebrate when you do it!

Over time, if you intentionally practice this way, you will begin to see significant changes in audience engagement. Madeline recommends aiming for 5% improvement! That is so doable.

4. Learn and use embodiment skills to manage adrenaline and stress

High profile speaking opportunities that allow you to reach a larger audience are also the most nerve-wracking for introverts. However, that’s exactly what you need to reach more people! If you know how to reliably calm your nerves, you’ll be able to ride the waves of excitement and use that energy to your communication advantage.

That’s exactly what a good embodiment coach can help you with.

5. Know the main point of your story and how it ends

Choose a story to tell that clearly illustrates the point you are trying to make, and know how it ends. The end is what you leave your audience pondering! You’ll get yourself, and your audience to the end much more easily if you remember it and keep it in mind as you go along.

To get some more fantastic tips, go to Madeline’s website and grab her 5-minute planning guide for clarity in storytelling.

If you are ready to do some in depth, foundational business development, my upcoming March Mastermind Group may be just what you need. If you just need some targeted business strategy support and don’t want to make a 6-month commitment, we can do that too. You can book a 45 minute interview HERE to find out more.

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