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What's Your Story?

Should you share your story?


Your personal story is likely to resonate with and inspire your audience.

It will probably be more impactful than statistics, as it tends to be more engaging, emotive and memorable.

Yvonne Bignall, a self care coach who has shared her personal experiences and connected with her community.
Yvonne Bignall, who shares her personal experiences and connects with her audience.

I’ve worked with people, such as Yvonne Bignall, an award-winning women’s health advocate, whose story is still generating interest (and business) years later.

In some cases, it can aid healing and raise awareness – as well as backing – of your cause.

Think carefully about what you share in the public domain. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.

If the events you wish to talk about are still recent and raw, it may be better to process them in the first instance.

Telling your story in public has the potential to make you reexperience events of the past and even be retraumatized.

You cannot control how it will be perceived and some may criticise.

It is worth considering the possible outcomes – to both your reputation and livelihood – should you go public.

For example, it has been said that Prince Harry’s US visa could be affected because he admitted to using illegal drugs.

Consider how sharing your story could affect you (emotionally and reputationally) and others involved – particularly if it concerns children.

For example, be aware of legal and safeguarding considerations around children and exercise caution when sharing information and images of them.

I know one person who decided to wait until her child was an adult before sharing her own story publicly.

Her account did not involve sharing any details about her child, but she was concerned it would bring unwanted attention to them while at school.

If you are not comfortable sharing certain information, it’s possible to work around it and still gain publicity.

It’s not to say you have to bare your soul in order to garner publicity. You can decide how much – or how little – to disclose.

Informative, quirky and entertaining stories have the potential for widespread reach without the need to share too many personal details.

The story of why you set up your company or organisation, for example, and the challenges you had to overcome tend to be of interest to other business owners.

It can be anything from buying a business at a bargain, to chance meetings to calls to action.

Either way, being clear on your objectives and the message you want to convey is crucial.

Sharing your story can bring greater recognition, trust and rapport with your audience, as well as bringing about change.

If you are willing to share your personal story and the time is right, it can have a great impact.

Roland Chesters, who supports people living with HIV.

Roland Chesters is an author and ambassador for Terrence Higgins Trust, which supports people living with HIV, as well as a chair of HiVitality – a safe, relaxed place to meet others living with HIV.

He shared his personal story, which gained widespread press coverage – both at a local and national level.

This led to greater recognition of his book, Ripples from the Edge of Life, and he made the shortlist for a prestigious national award from nearly 30,000 entrants.

He used his platform to speak out for others and tackle the stigma surrounding HIV.

He let people living with HIV know they were not alone. Clear in his mission, he said:

“I want to stand up for other people who may be more vulnerable or with less of a support network.

“Until there are enough people living with the condition saying ‘this is who I am and I cannot pass on the infection’ the stigma will not go away.”

Sharing your story may resonate with your audience and create a connection.
Yvonne Bignall, a former bodybuilder and Miss Universe contender.
Yvonne Bignall, a former bodybuilder and Miss Universe contender.

Yvonne Bignall has shared her views and experiences on hot topics such as body shaming and women’s health. The self-care coach said:

“These have a direct link to the work I do now and I continue to share these as they are rich with personal experiences.

“It has created a sense of connection and trust with my audience and clients, giving them access to parts of my journey they can relate to.

“In turn, it has increased engagement online and generated opportunities for my business long after the article was published.”

·         If you are considering sharing your story but are unsure where to start, you can reach me at the following:

  • Mobile: 07872 969065
  • Email:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Twitter: @prthewrtieway

This article was first published on LinkedIn.