Being authentic doesn’t mean we should be boring

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

But that’s just how I am. Boring. That’s how I talk. 

Isn’t being me what Authentic Storytelling is about? Yes, totally, but boring authentic stories don’t get consumed. They get ignored.

If you are boring, it doesn’t mean you have to change completely, but just know that your stories might not be as impactful as similar stories presented by somebody who isn’t boring.

What are some ways that make stories boring:

  • Monotonous tones of voices
  • Timidness/shyness/mumbling
  • Unnecessary details that slow down the story
  • The reading of PowerPoint slides

There are likely others and they all can be  overcome with practice.

  • Tone of voice – think of it as a performance. Project, but not so loud that people will complain that you are now yelling.
  • Timidness – be confident. I’m not that confident myself – believe it or not, but I learned it over the years.

  • Unnecessary details – think about what’s important and what’s not. Cut to the chase.
  • Reading of PowerPoints – I hardly ever use PowerPoints anymore so that’s how I took care of that problem.

I appreciate anyone who is trying to share their authentic stories. It takes effort, resolve and guts to share things. Hats off for getting started.

Now, let’s try to not be boring. But don’t worry about being boring. Don’t think about being boring. See, that’s all we are now thinking about. Boring.

Instead think about:

  • being awesome
  • being engaging
  • telling a great story
  • reading the audience well and adjusting course as needed
  • being confident
  • being helpful
  • knowing yourself

Everyone has stories and everyone can tell them in a way that people want to consume them. Maybe not all people will love them, but just enough.

I previously published a blog post on some of the negative comments I’ve received after keynotes. I also look at the ratings overall. It’s interesting. One ranking asked if they would recommend me to a colleague.

  • 50 percent said yes
  • 30 percent had no opinion
  • 20 percent said nope

That 50 percent was a few hundred people. I touched a few hundred people with my stories and techniques. Not bad. I’ll take it. I get there by being myself but without being boring.

The problem with being boring is that boring can overshadow great content. Let’s say you’re sharing a fantastic case study but it’s  presented in a way that  it’s putting people to sleep. So even though it’s great content people aren’t actually consuming it. And it’s not memorable. And after all we do want people to remember our stories, which is why we are presenting them to them in the first place.

I remember when I was listening to a really engaging and entertaining keynote presentation at a conference.  It was funny and I caught myself laughing through the whole thing. But then when I went back and tried to remember what the substance of the keynote actually was I couldn’t remember anything that had anything to do with any of my tasks at hand. But it was certainly memorable and made me feel good.  I bet he got high ratings to. Because entertaining  stands out in the sea of boring presentations.