In my last post, I focused on looking at different speakers and some of the effects they can have on people. Based on the effect, you can see their impact on people which begs the question what type of leader you wish to be. Thanks for your response on that, by the way. It always helps to get feedback on the contents of these mails.
In the same way, I had discussed how important the plot of a story is. As a reminder, the plot is about how the story develops and especially the power of having twists in the story. Using the series The 100, I explained how they would continually introduce curve balls, changes in a story to keep it interesting and keep the suspense as high as possible.
In this post, I want to introduce another important aspect of building your story. This is referred to as character development.
I hadn’t gone to our toastmasters meeting in several months, worse still the last time I attended the online meeting, I wasn’t really a full participant. When I accepted to attend the next meeting, I hoped to get back into the flow, yet in the back of my mind was that little itch that said, baby steps, Ikenna.
Why am I talking about this meeting? Well, I was surprised at myself when I was asked to give a short impromptu speech and the story refused to form in my mind. This not being a boast, but my superpower is coming up with stories and yet in this instance I couldn’t make up a simple story about ‘the apple of my eye’.
Have you noticed that every superhero has a weakness? Be it superman and kryptonite or iron man and his arrogance or even batman and his ego. We need to have a connection point with these superheroes, if not their marketability drops. Especially the rich heroes like batman and iron man, the average person would only look towards them if they have a weakness one can relate to.
When you’re ready to tell your story, be ready to show your audience that imperfect hero. Ikenna, this sounds so much like vulnerability which you wrote about last time. But of course it does, the most important aspect of your story is getting a good connection with your audience and showing them that imperfection is key to help them listen to you.
A superhero would not be a hero if they don’t have extraordinary abilities. So as much as they have these weaknesses, and you can empathize with them and root for them to succeed, they also need to have that strength which sets them apart.
Have you ever wondered what your extraordinary ability is? What I love about watching superheroes develop is that you see them evolve out of their weakness. Take the example of batman was afraid of bats and yet when he became the superhero, this was where he drew strength from. In much the same way, you can find that your strength is mingled with that weakness of yours.
I am a great storyteller, yet this grew out of my fear of being embarrassed in front of the audience. And that was how I felt in my last meeting when I couldn’t form a story. However, it doesn’t reduce the strength I have in coming up with and delivering great stories.
Becoming a Hero
Life would be great if you wake up one morning to become a hero, however, this is not how it works in real life. There is a developmental process to becoming a superhero.
While delivering your story, take the time to show your audience this journey to greatness. Going back to myself, the journey meant watching other storytellers, reading about how to create and deliver these stories. That was all fine and good, but the main aspect of becoming the hero is working at it – so I began to practice speaking, practice coming up with stories and putting them out there.
It doesn’t ALWAYS work, but hey that’s why life has ups and downs right? So, I go back on a soul searching journey to find out why my stories are not forming the way they did. In this case, searching for my missing mojo. In superman, it was setting a trap for the enemies to make sure they lose all their powers, helping him to rise above them in strength.
Whichever way, you develop this hero, it is important to show their mind transformation as they not only master their weakness but also how they overcome their internal conflicts. There is always an internal growth coupled with the obvious external development of strength – what is it that keeps you awake at night? And how do you overcome these internal demons to your position of heroism?
Are you already becoming a hero? The lovely part is that each hero has specific powers, what is yours? Please leave your thoughts below.