How to talk about yourself

Something we often hear, especially in the context of personal branding, is "how should I talk about myself?"

Getting this right has an impact beyond those updating your resume or LinkedIn profile.

First and foremost: if you are in person avoid 'pitching' entirely, turn it into a conversation. Ask questions that will enable you to respond with a simple example of how you can help.

What about when you have to write something down? When don't have the luxury of engaging in dialog?

For example, how should you approach your resume?

Use that valuable opening paragraph to include 1-3 storified examples of your experience.

Instead of "Improves factory throughput and profitability by up to 40% by implementing a new process which fully integrates into the ERP system within six months."

Consider something like "Factory throughput and profitability problems? I design, implements and run programs to improve bottom-line business results. I take a holistic approach from assessment to optimization. Experience at five companies leading teams to improve over 200 production implementations across four different ERP platforms. Average results in 15% efficiency gains and as high as 40%. More satisfied customers, happier employees and improved bottom lines."


What's the formula? We'll stick with our favorite story scaffolding for this:

  • Context: the setting where you operate (in this example, management of factory production lines) with throughout or profitability issues
  • Action: Draw out your secret sauce as it pertains to resolving conflict or challenges (what it is you do, and how, in this case, those fancy programs)
  • Results: what’s the impact of working with you? Some data to help tell the story here is efficiency, number of ERP systems you are familiar with and the companies you've done it for
  • And finally, what’s your theme? What is the redline of how people who work with you (and customer) feel when they work with you

Remember, think "outside in." Instead of focusing on yourself consider the needs of your audience (a hiring manager, in this case.) Then storify you content with the structure above.

Stories don't have to be "War and Peace." A paragraph can pack quite the story punch.

Deliver the tale. Engage your audience's story-driven brain. Then present the additional experiences, details, and facts they will need to justify their purchase. A 'purchase' of you.

Interested in learning more? Check out Ignite Your Personal Brand with Story.

How have you used storytelling to talk about what you do and how you help?

On to the links!

First up:

It's not story vs. data. It's story + data. And guess what? Storytelling drives nice ROI data.

And then:

Some narrative inspiration. Think of narratives like 'story themes' that shape the stories you make and use.

And finally:

Harness your most important asset, your team, and their authentic stories.

Go Narrative is a marketing consultancy that assists business leaders in technology firms to build and implement advanced marketing strategies. Our secret sauce is storytelling for business growth and transformation. We can help you cut through the noise and improve your reputation. We love helping business leaders understand, use and apply storytelling in business via writing, presentations, video, strategy and actionable plans. Get attention. Be heard. Sell more.. | eBook available at |

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