49 minutes | Nov 23rd 2015

How to tell your story on TV

Have you ever been to a conference and watched a speaker so powerful that you just sit there with your mouth open the whole time? A speaker so good that you immediately put their name on your wish list for future training? My guest today is exactly such a speaker. Lou Heckler is a peak performance and leadership specialist who’s studied high achievers for more than 30 years. He represents a broad background in management and leadership positions. He’s worked as an instructor and core supervisor for the defense department (do not mess with him) during his active Army duty. He’s also held positions in public and commercial television ranging from news director and community affairs director to corporate management training director. He knows the ins and outs of the media system and he certainly knows what it takes to get on the news.

The value of stories: We’ve loved stories ever since we were children. They helped and still help us do two things:

  • See where we fit in life and what it was going to be like for us. They helped us take the content of our lives and put it into context.
  • Give us a model

Professor Chip Heath did a study among his students where he asked them to recall speeches of guest speakers who had visited their classroom. 5% of the students remembered specific statistics but 63% remembered the stories. When we use stories we become memorable and give someone a model to follow.

Leading from behind: With a good story it’s easy to lead from behind. You’re handing people a key so they can unlock the box that is most useful to them.

What’s this story about? It’s not just what happened on the surface it might be about something bigger. Once we find that truth we have a much better anchor to use and a place we can use that story. As long as you know what the central truth is the stories can be about other things that have happened to you and other truths you’ve seen.

Why stories are important: Maya Angelou said “People will forget what you do, people will forget what you say, but they will never forget the way you make them feel”. That’s what story does.

Three things every good story needs:

  • It needs a worthy central character. You’re not a character you’re a human being but if you’re going to tell a story about yourself or about something you’ve observed we want the central person in that story to be a worthy person. We want them to be a moral person, a good person, a person of good intent.
  • Every story needs tension. There are lots of ways to build tension but think of it like a movie that you’re filming. Make them see it not just hear it. You don’t tell the whole story at once you make people say to themselves “I wonder what happens next?”
  • A story needs a big finish. Resolve the story but issue a challenge to the audience for themselves. How will you use this in your life?

An exceptional abnormal job: A newspaper columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize for feature reporting said one of the best things she does is look for the normal in the abnormal and the abnormal in the normal. She looks for someone who is doing an exceptional abnormal job in a normal circumstance.

21 Day Story Program: Get out there and look for stories for 21 days. Have at least one story for your file by the end of each day. At the end of 21 days it will be like breathing. You’re not just going to find the stories they will find you.

  • Lou Heckler’s website: www.louheckler.com
  • If you have a question you would like Geeta to answer on the show reach out to her by using the contact form on her website geetanadkarni.com or by social media via twitter @lifewithgeeta and babygotbooked on instagram.
  • Write headlines no journalist can resist with the 58-headline template pack [http://babygotbooked.com/headlines]
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