It turns out that your story is really about the people who have made you you

Speakers Learn The Secret To Talking About Themselves

It turns out that your story is really about the people who have made you you
It turns out that your story is really about the people who have made you you
Image Credit: Bob n Renee

Let’s face it – the most interesting story that you have to tell is the one that you tell about yourself. At some point in time during your speaking career, you will undoubtedly be asked to give a speech about yourself. Now the good news here is that you are not going to have to do a lot of research to come up with your material – you already know it! However, being asked to speak about ourselves can be a real challenge for some speakers. We generally try to downplay our accomplishments and ignore the importance of public speaking. If we are asked to speak about ourselves it sure seems like we’ll be spending our time boasting. What’s the right way to go about doing this?


The Best Way To Talk About Yourself

Great, so somebody has come to you and has said that there is an audience somewhere out there that would like to hear your life’s story. Now what are you supposed to do? Well, just like you do for any other speech, you now have to create a speech that you will use to tell your life story. The professionals who do a good job of telling these types of stories tell us that there are two important things that we have to do when we are pulling together a story about ourselves. The first of these is that we need to be able to view our life as three separate stories that will all flow together. Secondly, we need to understand that what will make our story interesting is not us talking about ourselves but rather us talking about all of the different people who have helped us along the way.

With a little luck, your personal story is going to be one of success. This is a great story that any audience would like to hear. However, as you tell your success story you need to be sure to give credit to the people who helped you to become a success. These people can consist of coworkers, family members, and mentors who have provided you with the assistance that you’ve needed at different points in your life. Talk about the successes that you have been able to achieve; however, while you do make sure that you take the time to thank the people who helped you to be successful.

So what does an audience want to know when you are telling them your personal story? It’s actually pretty simple. What they want to hear is your personal story and how you became successful. Every story that we tell will have a starting point that lets your audience know where you started out from. In order to achieve the success that you have had, you probably had to work hard – tell your audience this. In order to become successful, you had to be motivated. What made you keep pushing forward? Finally, you are where you are right now. How does it feel to be who you are today? Keep in mind that you were only able to get here because other people helped you out and so you need to give credit where credit is due.


What A Speech About You Should Look Like

When you are creating your speech about yourself, so that your audience can follow along with you the story has to be divided into three parts. The first part will be your opening. This is the part where you want to share with your audience how you began. Telling them where you were born, what your relationship with your parents was like, and any experiences that you can remember from your early days will be critical here. Keep in mind that as you start this part of your story, your audience does not know you. However, as your initial story starts to unfold, anyone who has had a similar experience will start to feel connected to you.

The next part of your story has to deal with you as you were starting to mature. The best part of this part of your story is often this is where we get a chance to include the mistakes that we’ve made. Hey look, we were young and we didn’t really understand how the world worked and so we made some decisions that looking back were not the wisest. This is critical information for your audience because it will go a long way in helping them to understand the person that you have become. Additionally, once again members of your audience have probably also made silly decisions in their life and as you share yours they will understand why you made your decisions and they will want to hear more of your story.

The final part of your story deals with the success that you have achieved. I don’t really care if you don’t think that you’ve been successful, you’ve made it to this point in your life and we’re going to consider that to be a success. This is when you can share with your audience the events that led up to you being on the stage before them right now. Clearly this will be seen as being a success and your audience will clap when you reach the high point of your speech and your life – which is happening right now.


What All Of This Means For You

It turns out that one of the most difficult types of speeches that a speaker can be asked to give is a speech about themselves. We view standing before an audience and talking about ourselves as being a form of bragging and sometimes we don’t feel comfortable doing that because we don’t understand how it can show the benefits of public speaking. However, it turns out that your audience believes that you have an interesting story to tell and they want to hear it. You need to get busy and pull together a speech for them.

When you are building a story about yourself, you need to divide it into three parts. You also have to be careful to make sure that you give credit to the people who helped you become a success. This is a critical part of your story. You need include all of the coworkers, family members, and mentors that helped you to become a success. Your story has to start from the beginning and you have to tell your audience how hard you worked and what motivated you to keep going. Your speech needs to be in three parts. The first part has to talk about where you started, the next part talks about the mistakes you’ve made, and the final part shares your successes with your audience.

The good news when we are asked to talk about ourselves is that we are the best person in the world to give this speech. The challenge that we may be facing is that we don’t do this all that often and we may not know what to say. Take the time to create a good speech and make sure that you give credit to all of the people who have helped you on your way. This speech will be a great speech and you’ll be able to show your audience that you really are a success!


– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™


Question For You: When you are talking about yourself, how long do you think that speech should be?


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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As speakers we are expected to be able to use the importance of public speaking and deliver information to our audience. They have come to listen to us and, with a little bit of luck, learn something new that they can put to work in their lives. What this means for us is that we have to do research before we give a speech so that we can deliver a speech that will contain the content that our audience is looking for. However, there will be times that we will want to change things up a bit. We’ll want to tell our audience something that is untrue. When we do this, we’ll want them to come to realize that what we are telling them never happened. This means that we are going to have to master the art of telling tall tales.

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