How you can use the power of empathy

The intense attraction we have toward reality TV is glaringly obvious.

Nothing new here, right? But what is the IT that attracts fans to these shows in the first place? What can we learn here, and how can we apply that to the presenting of our story and products and businesses?

Many think the draw of Reality TV is the belief that anyone can become a Reality TV star - no matter who you are. Sometimes a completely normal-looking individual delights viewing audiences and becomes a superstar (Susan Boyle, anyone?).

Now we are getting to the heart of it… the emotional heart; watching a story like Susan Boyle’s unfold before the world allows us to live out our dreams. It opens the vulnerable part of us that we often times hide from everyone. That part still grasps the dreams that we avoid pursuing because of old beliefs that formed when we were children or our great talent that we mourn because we allowed the pressures of our perceived reality to push us far away from it.

Here is where we may see the missing link when we tell our story: Whatever your passion is, we will understand it more if we see that vulnerability.

True reality is Susan Boyle, wearing her frumpy dress and frizzy hair, must have heard a few snickers from the audience as she first took the stage, but she stood in possibly the most vulnerable position in her life and brought us to tears, creating such an intense emotional response she became an overnight sensation.

You may not always bring your audience to tears, but you do want to wow your audience, your target market, and your clients! Reach for that part of them that identifies with your vulnerable side. Share your pain … what happened to you to encourage you to follow your passion? What hardship did you overcome?

The story of Beth:
I was helping a successful business woman prepare for her promotional video, so I asked her why she was so driven to do what she does. She answered that she wanted to show people how to build financial security for their families. Sound good, but let’s go deeper:

She explained that she had seen her loving, successful father make a mistake… all his financial eggs in one basket so to speak, and an unexpected legal crisis left the family with nothing. The stress of losing the family home and the pressure of having to rebuild their lives cost his family the ultimate price; he had a heart attack and lost his life at the young age of 52. She shares this painful story because she was too young to help her father, but she can help so many others now.

You may have a powerful personal story like that. Use it.

Empathy is the strongest bond that we humans have. It is not perfection to which we are truly drawn but the brokenness in each of us that we understand at the deepest spiritual level. That is why, without vulnerability in your story, you have no real connector factor.

If it is tough for you to share your story, seek some help in preparing it. Don’t let your gift to the world go unopened … find a coach, a mentor, and a support team to help you establish the best way to tell your experience.

Author's Bio: 

Sandra Dee Robinson is an actor (including major roles on Another World, Sunset Beach, Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, guest star on Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, Secret Life of an American Teenager and TV movies), TV host and product spokesperson. She founded Charisma on Camera media training studio and currently assists authors, life coaches, politicians, actors, and business professionals who want to build their star qualities and confidence in the telling of their message or they are preparing to establish themselves as an expert guest, or even host their own show.