Vivienne Hsu on How To Tell A Story
November 17, 2023
Vivienne has held leadership positions in some of the world's largest and most progressive agencies and consultancies across North America, Europe, and APAC. Including Ogilvy, Grey, TBWA and Cognito.

There are four fears that are psychological hurdles or blockers that often create insecurity or lack of confidence for public speaking. The fear of temporary incompetence, the fear of punishment for temporary incompetence, fear of loss of personal identity, and the fear of loss of group membership. This is what people must overcome to be comfortable on stage

Show learning. The whole point of people having great stories to tell often is because they face adversity and, they've shown some vulnerability and they have a lesson or some knowledge that can be passed on from that experience. And that is incredibly powerful and incredibly valuable. And I think those are the things that people want to read.

At some point, get to the point.

That is important. And sometimes people forget this because stories don't always have to have endings. That doesn't mean that they don't have to have a point. And this ties back to my first point which is think about the objective: Why are you telling this story? What's the value that you're going to you're going to provide to people who are listening to it?

Tell the story in the way that's comfortable to you. 

Be yourself. That's easier than it sounds. Most people want to cover themselves or present themselves in a way that they think is going to show better or appear better to their bosses or managers or whatever it might be. But actually, you can only be yourself and the greatest storytellers you know the examples of Oprah and Obama they're very much themselves because they can't really be any other version. And those personal stories they tell  are what makes them themselves and what makes them so powerful as storytellers and as leaders as well. It sounds very basic, but it's often the hardest thing to do. 

We cover who we are, or our versions, parts of ourselves, because we want to present in a certain way. As in, I'm very professional, I'm very experienced, I'm wearing the right kind of suit shoes, whatever it might be. And what happens is in covering up, we are giving up part of who we are, and we are losing a bit of our personal identity. Probably Steve Jobs is a good example. Because he's so  so individualistic in the way that he operated and the way that he presents himself, but, you know, he didn't have a fear of covering, because he was just like, I'm not gonna be myself. And like, people either like my style, or they don't. 

Practice. Practice. Practice. 

I think the most important thing is to practice it and practice it. And tell it the way you feel most comfortable. The words are just the words just like the slides are just the slides and the data, just the data. It's it's how you tell it and how you get to grips with it and feel comfortable with it that make it engaging, entertaining, your story, not someone else's story. And that is what people come for. They come to hear your story. 


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