I've been fascinated by it for years. When a story's good, people love to listen. We prefer doing business with people we know, those we understand.

But how do we come to know and understand you? A meticulous description is boring. Bullet points are too brief. Leave us to figure it all out for ourselves, and we just might miss the point. But give us a story, with struggles, triumphs, and you in between. I promise. We'll remember. A good story grants the power of easy, helping us understand all you  have to offer.

Here's the counter-intuitive part. Contented characters are boring. Great stories need pain, some sort of intrigue to draw listeners in, to drive the action forward. Notice how every Hollywood blockbuster spends the first 10 minutes of each film putting the main characters' problems on display. In order to feel your triumphs, we must first know your struggles.

The key is putting more of you in your elevator pitch. We can only understand your incredible skills by knowing what you've overcome.

But this is where it gets very tricky. First impressions are much different than a movie. Does a strength stated too strongly suddenly feel like a brag? Could a problem painted too boldly give off the hint of weakness?

It sounds complicated, and I guess it can feel that way sometimes. For networking, elevator pitches, presentations and more, we must engage the listener quick. We seem to find ourselves getting a lot of questions recently on this issue of how and when to reveal problems.

Luckily, there's no need to worry. Would you like to beef up the impact of the stories you're sharing? The world is filled with resources.


One of our favorites is Vogler's 'The Writer's Journey'. We still refer to it almost daily, working to get a client's balance of intrigue, vision, and strength just right. Snyder's 'Save the Cat' is another gem. If you'd like help finding the best parts, give a shout anytime. @ThaddeusRex or linkedin.com/in/thaddeusrex

-Thaddeus Rex