Hate Selling Yourself? Learn to Tell Stories!

The other day I did a live webinar “How to Nail Your Job Interview” with the fantastic recruiter Sarah Broad, from Attune Jobs.  I love doing webinars because it’s a bit like doing a live radio show – I produced thousands of hours of radio when I was at the BBC so I’ve still got the knack.  We sat in her sunny office near Bank in London and during the webinar we conducted a simple survey where we asked all 100 attendees - what they dreaded most about job interviews.

The results were incredible

53% said their biggest fear in a job interview was the thought of having to sell themselves. 

The bad news is – you really do have to get over this phobia if you want to be successful in your career, whatever path you take.

The good new is – all you have to do is have a few stories up your sleeve, just like this short ditty about our live webinar! 

You have loads of stories you can tell about how brilliant you are, loads, believe me.

According to neuroscientists (yes I do speak to them frequently because I love proving theories), stories connect your neural pathways with your audience’s neural pathways!  The same parts of the brain come to life because you are both picturing the same thing.  Powerful stuff hey?

Telling stories has become ‘au courant’ so why not do this?

  • Engage your audience instantly
  • Talk about a fantastic project without having to ‘list’ your tasks
  • Quote from other people who say you are brilliant – you don’t have to say it yourself
  • Show you’re passionate about what you do
  • Tick boxes when it comes to skills; self starter, driver, go getter, organised, creative, good with people etc
  • Give a lot away very quickly – it’s efficient 

Here’s this week’s fun homework challenge

Gather stories like these;

  • A great project you’ve lead like a warrior
  • Mountains you’ve climbed
  • Roads you’ve cycled
  • Egos you’ve ‘handled’
  • Teams you’ve built & people you’ve taught to lead!
  • Business you’ve grown
  • Ideas you’ve brought to fruition
  • Relationships you’ve cultivated

See, you’ve done so much in your career and your life, why not have a go writing all these achievements down as stories?

Start your first story ‘Once Upon a Time…’ and go from there.  Add a bit of drama, a quote, other characters, observations about where you were.  What the atmosphere was like, set the scene.  Find the fun, use humour – and see what happens.

Please do share your stories with me, I love reading them.

I help whole teams tell stories and articulate their messages.  If you want me to help you and your team tell your story – get in touch and email Claire@estherstanhope.com

Matthew Stroud