Storytelling is about co-creation. Whether you’re talking to just a couple of people or thousands, the point of story is to connect. I never talk to a group. I talk to a person. We are in this performance together. That’s what defines every amazing performance I’ve ever seen. The audience is a necessary player in what you’re trying to create on stage.

But if you start it off the wrong way, your audience is already put off and that connection you’re trying to create is gone. You, as the speaker, have to look out there and actively create a relationship with each member of your audience.

The fastest way to lose them is by saying, “Let me tell you a story,” or “I’ve got a great story for you,” because now it’s just about you; they’re not included. The quickest way to keep your audience is by jumping in and revealing the things that are personal to you. Now, all of the sudden, they’re engaged. They want to know more. They’re participating in your story. You are co-creating the performance together, even though you’re the one who’s on stage.

Why is co-creation so important? Because by the time you’ve gotten to the end and you’re asking them to take some kind of action with you, they’re on your side. They’ve chosen you.