Reminder — For the next 12 weeks, I’m:
- Sharing my Instagram storytelling secrets with you.
- Giving you 12 Instagram Story-Writing Prompts.
- And training you to tell better stories.
All so I can help you build a strong personal brand. Because good storytelling is an important part of building your own personal brand.
I’m going to show you how to spin mundane activities & routine life situations into storytelling gold like Seinfeld by adding…
Through water cooler talk.
It takes behind the scenes to a whole other level. It’s still internet small talk (which I’ve spent years mastering), but you’re taking an everyday traditional office occurrence and using it to connect with your readers. You’re adding an extra layer of human to your business stories.
How this Instagram training will work:
- I’ll tell a story.
- I’ll dissect it.
- I’ll give you a prompt.
You’ll fill in the blanks and spin storytelling gold.
Ready? Here’s my story:
My fancy espresso machine broke in July.
Miles, my precious, would try to brew espresso for my latte. But after several minutes with only half an ounce dripping out, he’d flash his lights at me.
I was heartbroken.
You see, he spoiled me and warped my personality like a gold ring.
All I’d have to do in the morning was fill the porta-filter with espresso & lock it into the brew head, slide the milk reservoir into place, and press the latte button. (Usually forgetting the cup. So I’d dash to the cupboard, grab a mug, and put it under the milk frother just in time to catch my tasty morning treat.)
So when I sent him out for repair, I knew I would have trouble. Because I’d have to create a new schedule. (My boss was SO pissed. And by “my boss,” I mean me.)
Instead of rolling out of bed and indulging in a freshly brewed latte (content as Ginger gnawing on her bone), I would have to go to a coffee shop and deal with that nonsense — completely sidelining my workday.
Resistance began immediately.
I was either a nice Hobbit, or I was evil Gollum.
“We’s gots to getesies the hot liquidy.”
“No, then we’s has to people with bad peoples who can’t makesies the coffee right.”
“We’s can’t workesies without the hot liquidy.”
“Yes, we’s can. We’s believesies in ourselves. We’s won’t be satisfied because bad peoples can’t makesies the coffee right anyway.”
“Just getesies in the van!”
“Yes. Yes. We’s getesies in the van, so we’s can sippesies the hot liquidy and edits the copesies.”
After arguing with myself, I’d spend 45 minutes going to the coffee shop to get a latte. And when I returned home, I’d spend an extra 30 minutes decompressing.
Decompressing from the ride to and from the coffee shop — because apparently new cars don’t come standard with turn signals. Must be extra?
Decompressing from yelling at people for blocking the curb ramp with their cars — because apparently the parking spots are invisible. Must be I have the superhuman ability to see them?
Decompressing from an incorrectly made espresso — because apparently whole milk and 5 caramel swirls translates to skim milk and 2 caramel swirls. Must be they don’t realize I’m a connoisseur and can taste the difference?
This new schedule lasted 4 weeks. But Miles 2.0 is back. And now, I edits the copesies without spending extra time and money on my morning treat.
My boss, my wallet, and my taste buds are content.
Here’s the dissection:
Water cooler talk activity or situation — My espresso machine broke.
Details — My usual routine vs. my new (but temporary) routine.
Drama — Arguing with myself about getting a latte from a coffee shop.
Emotions — Decompressing from the experience every day.
Here’s your prompt:
Water cooler talk activity or situation — Has broken equipment ever forced you to rearrange your schedule?
Details — Give me 3 specifics about that situation.
Drama — Was the new schedule difficult to adjust to?
Emotions — How did that make you feel?
Now it’s your turn:
- Fill out the prompt.
- Snap a picture.
- And share your story on Instagram.
Feeling extra share-y? Tag me on Instagram. I promise to love & comment on your post. Because I know it’ll be storytelling gold.
Wanna see what water cooler talk other people are spinning into storytelling gold and give them some love? Use the hashtag #grumpyprompts