Why Do I Have to Tell My Story If I'm Giving an Educational Presentation?


You’re a creative business owner speaking at conferences in your industry.

You want to build credibility and be seen as the go-to expert in your zone of genius.

So obviously you want to have a high-value presentation with tons of educational content to position yourself that way. At least that’s what so many creative business owners think at first.

When I talk to friends and clients, so often they push back with, “I don’t even have a big story to tell,” or “What’s my story have to do with it? I’m not giving a motivational talk.”

But you don’t need to tell this big, intense cry-fest every time you step on stage. Not everyone has one of those, and it’s not even applicable in every scenario.

What you do need is a way to illustrate to the audience that you know your area of expertise, have been in their shoes, and have walked your path in them. Something to encourage them to walk theirs, too.

And that’s what a powerful story does.

It breaks down walls between you and your audience

As female business owners in particular, it’s important to break down the wall between you and your audience and level the playing field. When you step on stage, they will place you on a pedestal - that’s just part of speaking.

But then it’s up to you put yourself back on your audience’s level.

If you try to position yourself as this fancy expert, you’re just furthering that divide. It might be more intimidating for them to come to you for help, to share their failures or fears with you, or to hire you.

Instead of being an expert in the spotlight, you want to be an ally on your audience’s journey with them.

It gives your audience permission to take action

If you jump into your educational content without making some sort of human connection first, without leveling the playing field, your audience doesn’t feel like they have permission to take action.

They become just another passive bystander in the audience.

You’re “the expert,” so who are they, to go off and try the same thing that you did, that you taught?

But saying, “I was in your exact shoes, and this is the path I took,” along with your educational content, it gives your audience permission, inspiration, and a call-to-action to take action on your advice.

Think about when you were in your audience’s shoes, and how you were feeling at that time. What would have inspired you to take action?

Tell that story to say, “I’ve been there too.”

It puts the control into your audience’s hands

Like I said before, positioning yourself as the expert instead of the ally can make you seem unapproachable to your audience. They won’t feel necessarily empowered to come to you with their vulnerabilities.

A presentation that doesn’t just say, “I’m here as an expert,” but “I was in your shoes, I took this path, and now I’m here,” can help your audience feel more in control. With a story and a call-to-action, you can make them want to take action and to walk up to you after your talk to connect more, to click on your opt-in, to eventually hire you.

Step out of the spotlight and into common ground

It’s so important for you to understand that education content is about much more than education. You can be an expert speaker that people listen to, or one that they take action on.

By breaking down barriers, your educational content becomes more effective. Your transformation feels more attainable, and your audience is more likely to connect or work together further.

To learn how to choose a story that breaks down walls and complements your speaking topic, watch my full video below:

Jessica RasdallComment