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Fundamental #1: The Power of the Passionate Storyteller

Whenever I’m asked why passion is a fundamental for breakthrough communication, I say that if you’re not passionate about storytelling or becoming a great storyteller then you’re stuck in Bland Land. You’re not growing. Your words lay flat. Your message gets lost in monotone, pontificating and techno-speak. If all you’re presenting is just data and information, it doesn’t stir the soul. It’s lack-luster, without passion.

Which Resonates with You the Most?

“I hope I win this case.” or “I’m going to turn this baby around on its head and put my entire being into telling my client’s story in a way no one’s ever heard or felt it before. I’m going to give it a face—a voice. I’m going to make it a passionate experience.”

What does it mean to be “passionate”? What is “passion”? The dictionary defines passion as:

“A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”

That’s what it takes to ignite a feeling, a memory, a gut punch sensory impact.

So, in addition to you being “the most important juror”, you also need to be the most important and most vibrant storyteller. Whatever you’re prepared to say needs to be dynamic. It needs to have a life force that changes thinking; that elevates perspective; that animates whatever impact you intend to make on your jurors.

The key element to winning is very simple but it’s essential. It’s the spark behind your words. If you’re not passionate about awakening to what it takes to be a great storyteller then that is your road block. All systems come to a screeching halt. Because a great storyteller has the potential to be a tremendous success winning over your jurors. Bottom line, the ones who are going to pay the most for all your passionate storytelling efforts the most are your clients.

Nick Morgan, well known Communication Theorist says this:

“Being passionate is ultimately about allowing yourself to fully experience the emotion. Inhabit it, revel in it, and soak it up. That way you’ll send a consistent message, not a mixed one, and you’ll come across as an authentic communicator.”

That’s what it means to be a passionate storyteller.

Rob Biesenbach, Corporate Communications Consultant and Business Writer says,

“I was taught at Chicago’s famed Second City, the birthplace of comic legends from John Belushi to Tina Fey. They taught us that story is a character in pursuit of a goal in the face of some challenge or obstacle. How that character resolves that challenge provides the dramatic interest that keeps us captivated. Now you can layer on other elements, from an ironic twist to a moral lesson, but these are the essential building blocks for crafting a simple, effective story. Think about the great characters from TV and movies: Walter White, Tony Soprano, Indiana Jones. They’re what keep us tuned in. It’s why we’ve been watching “I Love Lucy” for more than half a century. It’s right there in the title: we love her. So your number one job as a storyteller is to find a character that resonates with your audience.”

Being a passionate storyteller not only entertains but makes us love the people, the message, the feeling behind the story. Your jurors have to care as deeply as you do. Whatever you’re describing has to have heart behind it. Always.

What is more relatable than a mother looking out for the entire well-being of her child? A family devastated by the loss of their home? A homeless man fighting for his job and self-esteem? A gifted teenager whose dreams to be a performer are dashed as she is now only able to speak via a computer and sign language—her body confined forever to a wheelchair.

In the end, nobody really cares about processes or programs — they care about real people with stories. It’s the feeling, the emotion that fuels each story. That’s what pulls us into each of their worlds.

“That’s the magic of art and the magic of theatre: it has the power to transform an audience, an individual, or en masse, to transform them and give them an epiphanal experience that changes their life, opens their hearts and their minds and the way they think.”
– Brian Stokes Mitchell

Working with You and Your Trial Team

I’d love to talk to you about working with you and your trial team on your current or upcoming case. Please feel free to give me a call.

Ways to benefit from Tell The Winning Story: