What if you are having a bad hair day?

Do you feel it too? The capriciousness of an ever-changing business landscape debunking ‘must do’s’ at the speed of a bullet train?

Changing algorithms. Meaningful interactions. Categorised content.

Our ever-decreasing attention span is apparently relegating long form posts like this to the museum of once cherished, business practices in favour of talking head videos. Oh no! Really?

We are constantly confronted by the urgency of the latest best practice, because when it takes hold, the babble about it is pervasive.

This doesn’t always equate to rigorous debate of how appropriate whatever ‘it’ is as a necessary tactic for business. Still, it does seem that as soon as ‘it’ arrives, there’s a flurry of early adopters, leaving many of us to wearily accept that ‘it’ must be pursued.

What to do with bad hair days then?

What if you’re happy to don your professional garb, lippy up and manipulate your crowning glory into something that can be seen in public on the days you actively engage out there, coaching, training, speaking?

What if for the rest of the time, you happily live the solopreneur dream, slopping around in track pants with a bird’s nest on your head?

Until a blink of an eye ago, this may well have been when you were at your most creative, writing, posting, and engaging, protected by your sometimes, several years’ old avatar.

Now, to conform to these changing algorithms, the need for meaningful interactions and to bridge the gap created by a decreasing attention span, we must front up, and be seen and heard, not just read.

Stories to the rescue

We know that attention is scarce. Most of us also know that reading stories transports our minds to new places.

Paul Zak, renowned for his work on the science of narrative, says this transportation is a remarkable neural feat. We read a story we know to be fictional, but ‘the evolutionary old parts of our brain simulate the emotions we intuit the characters are feeling and we feel those emotions too’.

The question then is how can we effectively use story to keep our audience entranced, engaged and emotionally involved, so that our content is categorized as high value, signals meaningful interaction, and satisfies the changed algorithms? And still have bad hair days!

Four story telling principles

You start with principles that make stories so compelling they transport your reader.

Purpose and principles – stories told from clarity of purpose and principles – spark a passion that can literally change the world. (Tell your story. Save a life).

Context – for what purpose do you tell stories, to whom and for what intention? What is the significant value you bring to your stories that can make a difference?

Unearth your value – within your bodies of knowledge sits your unique value. This value shared intelligently with others through stories, enlightens your listeners and can change their lives.

Empathy and recall – tell stories that are character-driven and emotional-charged, and you affect the brain activity of your reader, creating empathy, a sense of safety, belonging, inclusion, trust and a willingness to co-operate.

Idea worth sharing

Yes, you can do all of this in a video. Most people aren’t. They are imparting advice, not telling stories. Therein lies a huge opportunity for you, bad hair or not.

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