Why We Do What We Do, Part 3: Your Emotional Origin Story

In the previous two posts, we talked about why you should know your reasons for what you do and then how to uncover them. Now comes the “what”, as in, what should I do with this now?

The underlying emotional reasons are good to use in casual conversation. They reveal that you are a deep thinker and someone who has a passion for what they do. All good things. It doesn’t go deep enough, though, for when you are giving a larger presentation.

Many networking groups allow their members the opportunity to give a longer speech about themselves, their business, and the prospective clients they would like to meet. That’s all well and good, of course, but if the audience doesn’t care about you first, none of the rest of it matters.

That’s where your underlying, emotional reason comes in. Or, more specifically, that’s where your underlying, emotional story comes in.

That pain we dug down to yesterday you associate with some sort of story in your mind — an event which formed some of your rules about how the world works. That story, well told, will achieve the ultimate goal of any presentation you make in networking…

… to get the audience to like you.

Suppose you are giving a ten-minute presentation. Make the first two or three minutes your story. Make it emotional. Capture their hearts and their imaginations and they will be willing to listen to anything else you have to say and much more willing to act upon any opportunity to help.

So, now we have this tremendous story that we can tell. How do we tell it in a compelling way that will rivet their attention and make them remember and like you?

More on that tomorrow.


About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.


  1. On telling stories — have you read Made to Stick? (http://www.madetostick.com) They propose 6 attributes of ideas that help them to stick in people's minds, and use the acronym SUCCESs as a mnemonic.

    "To summarize, here's our checklist for creating a successful idea: a Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story. "

    You can read excerpts at their website, including the explanation of the 6 principles.

  2. Hi, Spencer

    Actually I have read it and it's on my bookshelf. I probably should dust it off and re-read it. I'd be curious to see how well some of this emotional story stuff that I've used matches up with the SUCCESs mechanism that they talk about.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Pingback: Why We Do What We Do, Part 4: The Art of the Story | Greg Peters

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