Five Storytelling Lessons from a Puppy Owner

Stewart Bewley

My wife tells me I am just like Sully, our new puppy – I love people and get very excited by them, but when they are not around I am calm and even therapeutic! We have had our puppy for just over three months now and there are definitely some similarities between training a puppy and learning how to become a great storyteller. Here are my five tips/lessons I am painfully learning.

Trust The Science

Our dog breeder told us that if we threw a blanket over his crate at night and ignore the barking, he would learn to sleep (and so would we). We chose to trust her completely and not our emotions when the howling began. Now Sully is not pooing at night or barking in his crate. We are SO grateful!

I quote Stanford University a lot. They say that a story is 22 times more memorable than a fact. If we were to trust this science it could make a huge difference to our influence in the room. If we don’t trust it and revert to bullet points and facts without a story, we will never really make the impact we want. Trust the science. Go for story every time.

Take It Step By Step

YouTube is a great teacher. But it can be dangerous. We tried to train Sully in everything all at once. We tried to create a pee/poo post while teaching him to respond to our commands while trying to feed him at the right time. It became super stressful — I was trying to do much.

So we took it and are taking it step by step (no pee post by the way). When it comes to storytelling, take it step by step. Start with something physical like learning great posture and do one of my video exercises. Repeat until you know you can do it well.

Don’t Get Over-Confident

The first time we took Sully off the lead it was incredible. He came back to us. The second time was disastrous. I was on my own near our house — I took him off the lead, threw the ball, he got it and then ran right past me at full cockapoo speed, over a road towards our house! I gave chase and ended up leaping on him, bashing my head and knees on the floor and scraping my hands. It hurt — a lot!

With Sully, I got over-confident. In presenting we can do the same. We think we have nailed it, we have read a book or done a good pitch. We then go out on our own and the presentation runs away from us! There is a reason public speaking is a fear. So don’t get over-confident — keep learning new exercises to grow your confidence and skill level. Day two on Pocket Coach Global will help you do that.

Take Your Story Out For Walks

If I don’t take Sully out he goes crazy and nips us. He needs walks.

Our presentations need walks. We need to practise them. The whole thing. This is the only way we get confident. Find a friend and ask them for help. Ask them to listen to your presentations. Then find another friend. Keep taking that presentation out for a walk until you have it under control.

Move from Conscious to Unconscious

The mark of a great storyteller is their ability to tell stories effortlessly. But it is not effortless. They have just learned a skill very well that has moved from conscious to unconscious.

Pick one of the individual videos here from my YouTube playlist. Do it and use it until they are in the blood flow of your storytelling, until you don’t know you are doing it. It is tenacity that will see you move from conscious to unconscious.

Stewart Bewley

Stewart founded Amplify back in 2011 from an acting background, believing that if you unlocked people’s voices you would unlock their story and their businesses would thrive.

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