51 minutes | Sep 12th 2018

How To Influence Using Your Own Story with Mark Brown

We don’t need another hero. -Tina Turner


Do you want more influence? Our influence comes from our ability to connect. Our ability to connect comes from what we share in common with others. We all have some things in common- humorous, serious, dark, or light-that apply to other circumstances that others would face. Too often we look to the stories of people like Abraham Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, or Barrack Obama to provide lessons and inspiration to fuel us to victory. These stories are really out of reach to the average person. It is difficult for any of us to feel connected to these figures in history, who seem to have lost their imperfections over time. It is much easier to relate to the person standing right in front of us. It is much easier to draw inspiration from them. And what if that person in front is you?

I sat down for an hour with one of America’s story masters, Mark Brown, and here are some of his suggestions.

Before we begin, we must know that we all have a story, and that is powerful. Too many of us have heard about Thomas Edison finding a thousand ways to NOT make a lightbulb, or Abe Lincoln and his failures. Don’t choose these played out reruns-use something fresh-your story. Even if you did not climb Mt. Everest, Mark says,”One man’s mundane is another man’s magnificent.” Mark left Jamaica at 18, came to America with 2 suitcases and $40 in his pocket. “That was my life. That was my normal. It wasn’t too exciting at the time, but it blows other people away. Your mundane is somebody else’s magnificent!”


How do you find your story? Mark gives us a few suggestions:

  1. First inventory your memories and ask, are there lessons that you can learn from these memories? In many ways, It is not our strengths, but our weaknesses that connects others to us. Can you remember a time where it was not perfect?
  • Life as a kid
  • Elementary school experience
  • Your highschool
  • Your seasons
  • Your first job
  • Your best boss
  • Your worst boss
  • Times you innovated and were creative.


  1. Create a story file. Use BEST-WORST-LAST-FIRST  What did that teach you?
  • First car, last car, best car, worst car
  • First friend, last friend, best friend, worst friend
  • etc


There are stories there. There are experiences there that are interesting to others! The common connects. And remember that flaws and vulnerability are what others identify with most. No batter bats 1000. Nobody is perfect. Do we share our mistakes? Do we show other that we are human, and  If you are willing to share, you can grow from it, and others can too… “Your story, told with authenticity and vulnerability…”-there is nothing more powerful.


Find your story and share your story.


Mark Brown is a 20 year fulltime keynote speaking veteran, and Toast Masters Speaking National champion. He has spoken on 5 continents, and to over 1.8 million people.


Here are some important points in the podcast. Do yourself a favor and listen.


10:35  How Mark became a speaker

12:30  SAY YES

13:45 Serving Employees Unselfishly

17:15 the inglorious side of being a speaking celebrity

22:05 YOUR STORY told honestly, with authenticity and with vulnerability

22:36 Hearing the voice Pressing On story

25:47 When it aint all rainbows and bunny rabbits

26:35 Authenticity with vulnerablity

30:28 When your self talk is bad-how do you control it when something goes wrong?

31:40 When Mark faced grief just before a speech

34:50 How to Assess When You Mess Up

36:20 A Mess Up doesn’t make you a failure

38:07 How to find your own story

43:45 Maintain a story file. BEST WORST LAST FIRST  What did that teach you?