Bo: What is your process for bringing out someone’s most powerful personal story?

Mary: I usually ask a couple of questions to find out what your business is currently and what you want to do. And then I let you talk. You tell me your story and I don’t interrupt, sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes.

When you’re done telling me your story that’s when I’ll say something like, “Tell me about your sister.” Asking something like that normally throws people off and there’s this big silence on the phone. But I’m just trying to go back to that thing you casually mentioned because I’ve found a lot of times your story lives in there, but you’re dancing around it. That’s usually where I sense your story is.

It’s also about figuring out your “all is lost” moment, which Bo describes as your defining moment, because that’s interesting to people. If you’re still in that moment then you’re usually not up in front of people talking about it because you have to go through the work of healing it.

So going back to that moment and then finding a way to talk about it that allows other people to go on the same emotional journey is the key. Not manipulating or forcing an audience into going on that journey, but telling your story in a way that invites them to go through those emotions with you.

Bo: If you haven’t done this already, make sure to download my free storytelling guide. It gives you more tools and exercises for developing your personal story.