One big dilemma authors face is this: How do you convey your (lovely) personality as you write?
Being likable is one of author Robert Cialdini’s six “weapons” of influence. Face to face, you have advantages in that regard. Your smile, your energy, your enthusiasm and passion for your subject, even your clothes, hair and eccentricities win over your audience. The world-class speaker, Yamini Naidu, for example, is fond of breaking into a Bollywood dance in the middle of a talk!
As an author, sharing your personal stories makes you likable. But only if done well.
Here are 2 essentials of personal stories that boost (and don’t bust) your likeability.
- Give your stories a point.
Here’s my commune example: When I lived on a commune at the age of 17, I didn’t get out of bed until 11am. It was very cold and, even though my hair trailed on the ground (not really), we didn’t have heating. The problem was I was missing my most productive hours by sleeping in. I’m a morning person. Choose your most productive hours to write your book.
- Don’t make yourself the hero.
No-one really likes a success story. Not unless we know the blood, sweat and tears you suffered to get where you are. I learned this as a journalist, but the words above are those of author and speaker, Matt Church. He puts it well. Tell stories about how you learned, not how you triumphed.
What is your most likeable quality? Mine is my smile.