Stories are critical components of every speaker’s arsenal and I encourage my coaching clients to mine their lives and experiences to uncover stories from their past. That process can be laborious and intimidating…especially to presenters who don’t think that their lives are interesting. I’ve even encountered speakers who told intriguing, dramatic stories, only to learn later that the stories were pure fiction…entirely made up in the presenter’s mind. This drastic measure of inventing interesting stories is unnecessary. Our lives are filled with experiences which may seem insignificant to us, but are fascinating to our audiences. There’s no need for the lie. Here’s proof.
Several years ago, when I first immigrated to the USA, I heard about a simple ice-breaker/conversation starter that can reinforce the idea that our lives ARE interesting. It’s called TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE, and it’s remarkably simple. The game is usually played with a small group of people, but it can be played with just two people or a giant group of people, too. To start, one person has to give three statements about themselves to the rest of the group. The trick is, all of the statements won’t be true; two of the statements given should be true and one should be a lie. After you’re finished, everyone should guess which statement they think you made up. Once everyone has made their guess, reveal which statement was your lie. Keep the game going by then choosing someone who guessed correctly to go next and then play as many rounds as you’d like.
Here’s one of my examples:
When I was 16, I directed a 40-voice choir on national television in Jamaica.
I took second place in a Jamaican patty-eating contest
I’ve delivered presentations on a cruise ship.
Can you guess which is the LIE? 🤔
Not to worry; I’ll reveal the truth at the end! 😁
The more I thought about it, the more I was able to appreciate the potency of TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE as a story-finding tool. No doubt you want to have an intriguing and entertaining experience, so you will be more likely to come up with the most interesting truths…and the most credible lies. How? You will naturally SEEK OUT facts about your life and experience that will be of interest to everyone else, and if these facts are interesting in social settings, chances are good that they will be interesting to your professional audiences as well.
If you have not already started doing so, I recommend that you begin compiling a list of interesting truths about yourself and your family. It’s important to remember that your truths may not seem overly interesting to you because they’re part of your ‘normal life’. However, as I always say, “One person’s mundane is another person’s magnificent!” Looking for these stories has an added benefit. Behind every truth lies a STORY, and your stories are the difference between your audience receiving information, and enjoying an experience. Revisit the story behind the ‘truth’, uncover the message behind the story, and let TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE serve as yet another resource for uncovering unforgettable material.
Oh! I almost forgot my truths and lie!
When I was 16, I DID direct the Tarrant Baptist Youth Chorale in Kingston, Jamaica, and we DID perform on national television.
I DID deliver presentations on a cruise ship during the CRUISE with the Champs several years ago.
I HAVE NOT entered a Jamaican patty-eating contest…but it would be fun!
DREAM BIG; WORK BIGGER!