Last night I listened to a speaker who was highly touted by the host as being so phenomenal as to be back by popular demand from thousands of miles away. Her topic was the same as mine, helping small businesses grow through branding so I was truly looking forward to her perspective.
After listening to the speaker cataloging 14 deaths (some in gruesome detail) over 2 years in her family, the buffet dinner wasn’t sitting too well in my stomach. Neither was the speaker. I couldn’t understand how hearing her going on and on about the various horrible things in her life would help my business.
Down in the dumps
Don’t get me wrong, I teach my clients to tell a deeply moving and personal Phoenix rising story of how they were down and out but learned (and now teach to others) the skills needed to survive and to thrive. The key difference between what I do and what I witnessed last night was context. If the deeply moving oversharing has little or no bearing on why I’m listening to you in the first place, then that’s oversharing my friend.
Make it relevant
For example, I tell the story of how I had a miscarriage on stage during a talk due to self neglect and overwork as an opener to my Breakout of Burnout keynote. The point I make is that I learned the things I’m going to be teaching that night to avoid the same type of burnout from happening to the audience.
Just stop it
So stop playing on the heartstrings of softies and stop exasperating jaded souls like me and tell me a story that relates to how you can help with my pain instead. If I understand that you get me and because of your story, now trust and belive that you can help me, then you’ve got me, I’m yours.
Don’t waste people’s time or attention. There’s little enough of it to go around–use it to help them by telling them the story of why you can help them.
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- Dos & Don’ts Of Oversharing – Maybe Your Life Shouldn’t Be An Open Book (clutchmagonline.com)
- Too much information: 6 tips to avoid oversharing online (bizjournals.com)
- Oversharing Personal Information in the Workplace? (themarlincompany.com)