Ways to distinguish yourself #201 – Tell the right story to the right people.


Only few people will have story that is so grand as the story of Taj Mahal. Or the beauty of the Niagara. Or the size of the Grand Canyon. That won’t prevent us from telling stories everyday. We are telling stories to others and we are telling stories to ourselves. We are even telling stories to ourselves about stories we are telling stories to others. We live in our stories.

The point is – whether you want or not – others are expecting that you will tell them stories. Good stories. Stories that will mean something to them. If those stories ALSO mean something to you, it’s good but that’s really not their concern – they just want to hear good stories. Plain and simple.

This is a good thing because if you know how to tell a good story, you will have a big audience.  But remember that if they don’t get to hear stories that are relevant to them, they also switch off. And, they switch off – FAST!

So, what’s the big deal, you might ask.

The deal is that when you have a “good” story, you want to tell this to anyone and everyone that might want to listen that story.  If you tell that story in all that excitement, people won’t want to curb your excitement so they might “pretend” to listen to your story with great enthusiasm but in their mind they are probably thinking you are wasting their time.

This is all the more important during tough times as “time” is at a premium for everyone during these times. However tempted you are tell your “cool” story – pause and think – “How is this story relevant to the person that I am trying to tell this?” or better yet – “How can I make this story relevant to this person?” If you don’t have a good answer, skip the story and have a great conversation without that story.

Stories are powerful,  but ONLY if you use them wisely.


Note 1: Here are links to the other 200 articles in the series
Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code – Distinguish Yourself #1 – #50

Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code -Distinguish Yourself #51 – #100
Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code -Distinguish Yourself #101 – #100
Rajesh Setty: Best of Life Beyond Code -Distinguish Yourself #151 – #200

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)