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Intentional Storytelling | Stories With Traction Podcast


Stories of Leadership
How to Get Involved in Politics
How to Build a Legacy
How Hobbies Make You More Creative
Strategic Networking

SUMMARY: In this episode, Terence Farrell and Matt Zaun discuss how you can use strategic storytelling with intentionality in business to achieve your goals quickly.

TERENCE FARRELL BIO: Terence served as a Chester County Commissioner for 12 years, and before that, he was the Recorder of Deeds for 8 years.  Today, he is the President of For Real Solutions, a consulting firm that brings value to its clients through leveraging Terence’s knowledge, experience, network, and creativity. Two of the major focuses for his business are on reducing healthcare costs for various organizations and mitigating loss in pension funds that occur because of fraud or other illegal activities.

For more info, check out Terence HERE.

MATT ZAUN BIO: Matt is an award-winning speaker and storyteller who empowers organizations to attract more clients through the art of strategic storytelling. Matt’s past engagements have catalyzed radical sales increases for over 300 organizations that range from financial institutions to the health and wellness industry.

Matt shares his expertise in persuasion with executives, sales professionals, and entrepreneurs, who he coaches on the art of influence and how to leverage this for profits and impact.

For more info, check out Matt Zaun HERE


*Below is an AI-generated transcript, which may contain errors

Matt Zaun

I'm excited for this episode because not only do I have one of my favorite people, but I also have, we're going to be talking about one of my favorite topics, which is storytelling.

So for those of you who listen to the podcast, you know that my guest is not a stranger. It is Terrence Farrell.

We've done numerous episodes together. Some of the ones that we've done are stories of leadership, how to get involved in politics, how to build a legacy, how hobbies make you more creative, strategic networking, great mentorship.

And now we are going to talk about storytelling. So I want to dive in and talk about different aspects of storytelling so you yourself can be a better storyteller.

So for those of you who might not be familiar with Terrence or might not have listened to the other episodes.

which I would encourage you to do so. They will be in the show notes. Terrence Frell has served as a Chester County commissioner for 12 years.

And before that, he was the recorder of deeds for eight years. Today, he is the president of Four Real Solutions, a consulting firm that brings value to its clients through leveraging Terrence's knowledge, experience, network, and creativity.

Two of the major focuses for his business are reducing health care costs for various organizations and mitigating lost and pension funds that occur because of fraud or other illegal activities.

Welcome back to the show, Terrence.


Terence Farrell

Thank you very much, Matt. It's great to be back. And before we dive in, I really have to send you my kudos for hitting that hundredth podcast episode stories with traction.

That's a tremendous story in and of itself.


Matt Zaun 

Well, thank you. appreciate it. you are a big part of that with the different, with the seven that we've done.

That's far. You're a really big part of that. So I think I am very appreciative of all the insights that you have shared a lot of the lessons learned based on your career and For people that are tuning in right now that they might not have listened to the other episodes we put out of Terrence and I have a lot of history I was able to witness firsthand Terrence and a lot of aspects of his leadership and I remember when I was much younger Watching him and seeing him do what he does and thinking to myself Wow, that is an incredible leader someone to learn from and Along the way we've I've known you now for coming up on 15 years Which sounds crazy to me that it's been that it's amazing how quickly time flies But in that time I've learned so much and I appreciate you sharing that during a lot of these episodes for sure So I want to I want to touch on a topic today that captures a lot of different aspects of your journey

as well as your career, not only in business, but also in life as well, which is the story telling piece.

So when we first started our different episodes, the very first one that we did, we went through from point A to point B how you got into the position that you were holding as an elected official.

And it's amazing. All of the different messages and stories that need to be shared in order to do that.

So sometimes people might call them, you know, whether it's speeches or talks or messages, but ultimately there are stories within those talks that connect to an audience.

So can you speak to that with all the different things that you were doing to get out in front of people, you know, one of the images that a lot of people think of when they think of politics as someone on a stage connecting with others, really trying to persuade and convince

that audience to buy into their ideas. So can you talk about different aspects of storytelling that you used within your career?


Terence Farrell 

Well, thanks for that introduction. And yes, stories and storytelling, communication, know, as a general topic, very important to succeeding in politics, to being a leader that people believe, being leader whose vision people buy into, and it's not just the speeches which, you know, were an incredibly important part of my, my journey as a county commissioner also as a recorder of deeds, but also the one-on-one stories that you're talking with people about when you're one-on-one with somebody, not only telling your story, but listening to their story and incorporating feedback that makes them realize or understand that you are

understand where they're coming from that their story is important. But true, when I realized that I wanted to be a county commissioner, one of the things I've embarked upon was learning how to be a better storyteller, how to be a better communicator, how to be better at speaking, how to, you know, use dramatic elements in my speech to, you know, what I was saying to help people be inspired.

So storytelling and various aspects were key along the way. I remember as a recorder of deeds, I went to a number of conferences.

Our national one was called my accurate, which was the International Association of Plurks, recorded election officials and treasurers, not enough people in either of those individual groups to hold a conference, but put them all together and we had a conference.

And every time at one of those conferences, I would have an elective taken elected to learn how to be a better communicator, be a better storyteller.

And one of these seminars was about using theatrical elements in your speeches, whether it's dramatic pause, such as that one, or whether it's varying the rhythm of your speech, speaking slower, and then speeding it up.

So the people had a variety of different paces, so that they were not lulled to sleep. So I did study.

I am by trade. I guess a writer. was an English major. My parents were English majors or teachers at Lincoln University.

I enjoyed fiction. I enjoyed poetry. enjoy a story. Just like all human beings, I think we all relate to stories.


Matt Zaun 

So you brought up? Some good points that i want to i want to talk about and dive a little bit deeper but first i want to make a point based on what you said you talked about.

Yes the importance of being on stage connecting but also that one on one connection and one of the things i don't want people to miss is the importance of connecting one on one over story telling.

And there's so much to be said about building trust and like ability through stories and when it comes to being out there and getting votes it's amazing how powerful trust and like ability is in fact there's numerous studies that show that people that are likable.

Are voted on more like like ability is so important and when it comes to not only politics but also in business.

It's amazing how many business leaders talk about them wanting to create a vibrant company culture my question back to them would be do do your people feel that they can really trust you and that.

you're a likable person. And hopefully, but if you want more trust and more like ability, a really good place to look to is really good listening and then connecting to that listening through storytelling.

So I really, I very much appreciate that you made a point to mention the importance, Terrence of one on one storytelling.

I want to dive into the theatrical piece because I hear you and I'm in agreement with you on many fronts.

I refer to it as stage dynamics. But there are people that we start saying theatrical, they think like a Broadway play or they think different elements of movement.

And almost as if they are forcing the stories, but I want to talk to the importance of the theatrics.

So can you can you dive a little bit deeper what you mean regarding adding these different elements of theatrics to storytelling?


Terence Farrell 

Well, an essential step. story grabs, you know, particularly in quote unquote fiction, grabs the listener, the viewer, and they are willing to suspend disbelief, you know, cynicism, and dive into the story itself.

Now, you could say that any story will grab a listener, but that's not true. If you have the best Shakespeare and it's presented in a monotone that no one can, you know, be inspired by the potency of Romeo and Juliet or the tragedy of Hamlet, they're going to be missed because the presentation is not up to good standards.

know, I've seen various presentation of Shakespeare plays and he's one of my My favorite authors, I've seen professional performances, and I've seen high school performances.

And I just must say that when someone has the element of being able to project and convey the emotion that's involved in the story, it grabs you by the lapels and pulls you into that story.

So in the best storytelling, the quote unquote the ATHA-Trix or the presentation are go by the wayside because you're focusing on the story and it's being presented in such a dynamic and throwing fashion that you're drawn into it.

When you're talking one-on-one and I appreciate that and I appreciate you're underscoring the fact that all a person who is in political realm wants from a person he's talking to primarily is for that person's vote.

Sometimes it's that person's treasure. But in order to get that vote, the person needs only to like you. They might agree with your policy, they might not.

But if they like you and they go into the voting booth, that's a story. wrong reason to vote for you.

So put the theatrics aside or incorporate them, but get to a story that draws the reader, the audience, the person into that personal story.

So the theatrics or the dynamics or the craft, really the craft of storytelling is important and the craft of presentation is also important.


Matt Zaun 

Outstanding point. So one of the things regarding the theatrical piece is the importance of delivery. And it's amazing how many speakers that I've heard over the years that might not have the most amazing content in the world.

So the talk itself might not be the most incredibly written speech, but their delivery is so powerful, it's so good that that mediocre talk actually becomes a really powerful message.

So I want to stress from the theatrical go perspective, you know, the movement of the body, proper eye contact, moving forward, maybe moving back, all these different things, keep the audience engaged.

So it's so important. Now, there's one thing I want to mention regarding the emotion piece, because you lightly touched on it, but I want to dig a little bit deeper.

So there are a lot of different human emotions that people can experience. I would recommend listeners, you know, go look into that.

Even if you were to Google something as simple as emotion wheel, you will see tons and tons of different emotions.

However, when it comes to us presenting to an audience, when it comes to business or the political world, there's really only four emotions that are overwhelming when it comes to those different environments.

So the four emotions are excited, angry, and surprised. So everyone listening, I want you to thank whether you've been involved in a business.

business transaction, whether you're trying to sell someone, whether it comes to marketing, when you are speaking at a staff meeting and you get up and maybe you're edifying one of your employees in front of someone, and you think about all those dynamics, the overwhelming majority of the emotions that come to the surface are excited, angry, and surprised.

Those are very powerful drivers. I want to dig into those, Terrence. So when it comes to politics, let's start with a negative emotion.

Clearly fear is a powerful, powerful driver when it comes to the political arena. If I can convince someone that this individual is a horrible choice to vote for and to create an element of fear, they will go to the ballot box and vote for someone else.

talk about fear when it comes to the political world.


Terence Farrell 

What are your thoughts regarding now? Fortunately or unfortunately, that's really the way our politics have become lately. But let's talk about the element of fear.

What have you seen regarding fear when it comes to storytelling and the political arena? Well, you see it all the time around election time, the TV ads, the mailers are full of, wrought with negative campaigning.

It's not so much what I will do or what the candidate will do to better the community. It's more if you elect my opponent, these horrible things will happen because that person is terrible.

person was convicted of this or was charged with that. So negative campaigning is a huge part of politics. as you say, the fear of missing out on opportunity is maybe even stronger than the positive emotion of getting something as a benefit because, you know, one thing you don't want to

to do is, you know, get eaten by the saber tooth tiger out there, which is, you know, fear is a primal mechanism for survival.

So it is very, very strong. You see it all the time in politics as people try to make you afraid of the opposition or afraid of a competing vision.

So you're exactly right. Fear is a primal motivator in politics and in life.


Matt Zaun 

Now, we're talking politics for the moment, but I want people to think of sales. of the most powerful drivers is fear.

And think of all the different fears that one of your prospects or clients might have for everyone listening. I want you to really think about that.

of the objections, most of the questions, most of the, the, they're scratching their heads asking themselves if it's worth the investment, all of it's based on

fear. Maybe they're afraid of how they'll look to their superiors by going and doing this purchase. Maybe they're afraid of looking stupid because of what they've done.

Maybe they're afraid of not being able to trust the organization or business that they're investing in the product or service.

It's all based on fear. So yes, we're talking politics, but I want people to recognize one of the most powerful drivers in the business world when it comes to emotions as well is that fear aspect.


Terence Farrell 

What's that? You're exactly right. And I'm in business. I wasn't politics, but I'm in business now. So I understand that concept.

Fear of missing out, fear of embarrassment.


Matt Zaun 

fear of taking something that people are going to look at you and say, I can't believe you actually bought into that.

Whatever. Fear. Sure, absolutely. So that's one of the negative emotions. Then there's the other negative emotion, which is the anger piece.

Often when it comes to business, we don't want to talk about anger for whatever reason we feel uncomfortable regarding anger, but it's something that we shouldn't overlook.

One of the things that I found is often when someone is trying to connect with another individual, let's say prospect or client, and there's an objection and the objection is made out of anger and we recognize that.

It might not be a personal attack on that person. They might not be angry at that person. What might be happening is they are thinking of a story that relates to one of their competitors and they're throwing them in the same bag.

They're it as one of their competitors. So basically what they're thinking is maybe they've reached out for the similar services and they got burnt by that organization.

They still need the services, but the experience is bringing back those stories and they're coming up with or comments or questions based on that anger.


Terence Farrell 

Now when it comes to politics, you know, it's her and that.


Matt Zaun 

Anger is more than not. It's an emotion that comes out quite often. It's really important for us to recognize it and connect with that.

So can you speak to different aspects of anger that you've had that you've experienced through your career?


Terence Farrell 

Well in politics, but then I'll get back to business. In politics, you know, there as everybody knows now, there's a lot of anger nationally and national politics, you know, party against party, candidates against candidates.

It used to be we could have civil discourse about varying policies and opposing points of view, but no longer, you know, if one party says the sky is blue, the other party angrily says it's no, it's red.

I don't know how we got to that position. Maybe, you know, it's through the, you know, the proliferation of political channels so that you can watch news.

that only supports your point of view. Maybe it's through the use of iPhones so that everybody gets their point of view on their iPhones.

I don't know, but there's a lot of anger in politics. And reverting back to business, when people do express anger at something you're offering or something that's tangential to what you're offering, it presents an opportunity really to listen to that, because there is, as you say, there's a story behind that.

There's emotion, the emotion of anger, but there may be additional emotions. As a chance for you to dig deeper, let's find out where that anger is really coming from and maybe be able to deal with that.

So when people express anger or any emotion when you're talking to them, when you're networking with them, it's an opportunity to find out what's...

story they're telling themselves so that you can buy into that story or look into that story and maybe change the narrative somewhat.


Matt Zaun 

Yeah I appreciate that. Changing the narrative, the importance of utilizing that emotion, connecting with it through story to take them to the other side of the mountain through that story, with that story.

So I appreciate you mentioning that. So we just touched on two negative emotions. Let's touch on the other two.

So surprise is a wild card, right? Because surprise could be positive or negative. It could be confusion and dismay, or it could be surprise with intrigue and interest.

You know it's amazing when we do research and we find out different stats that people might not be aware of and we're surprised and we're excited to share that surprise with others and they're intrigued and back to your point of the theatrics and almost like an entertaining aspect to connect.

It can be very entertaining at times. I'm to get information that we've never heard before. So there's the surprise piece and then also the excited piece firing up an audience, really rallying them, getting them excited, getting them to the point where it's more interesting and engaging, listening to that person in front of them, versus scrolling on their phone.

So can you touch on those two? Can you touch on the surprise and excited when it comes to communication?


Terence Farrell 

Well, I'll touch on first the excitement. And if you're excited at an event, there's adrenaline flowing, there's particular hormones, dopamine that's flowing, and you go home with that feeling, it's almost like a drug.

Excitement is in many ways a drug. I remember one of the political activists that often came to Chester County.

She has since deceased, but her name is well. was Renee Amore and she might have crossed your path from time time but she was an exciting speaker.

She could come in at the beginning of a rally, beginning of a convention, beginning of a dinner and she exuded excitement which was contagious and so you know if you weren't excited about you know the candidates or the prospects for that year Renee could you know light a fire under you that you would take home and spread to other people.

The surprise aspect is kind of interesting because in any crafted story and you'll see you know on TV there's always a surprise turning of events something you never saw coming which indeed draws you in enhances your interest and you know you pointed out doing research and finding out various things that surprise you.

you along the way, well, the best thing to do with that surprise, those surprising facts or information is to use that as you build your story about your vision or whatever you're building the story about.

And then, you know, you've got the audience falling, but then you really can plan a hook with a surprise that they don't see coming, that they, you know, have enough trust in you, because they've been listening to you.

And that surprise ignites a feeling of excitement also, really, know, it's something I didn't see, something I didn't know.

There's adrenaline flowing again. So I think those elements are, you know, key elements of any great story.


Matt Zaun 

I appreciate you mentioned that. And especially when you said excitement is like a drug, you know, it's amazing how many people, what we all love dopamine hits, right?

And there's so many different ways that we can get those. dopamine hits. It's amazing when a speaker can channel that and they can connect with an audience and really bring out that excitement.

So speaking of the audience, I do want to shift gears, but I want to touch on this because I've been fascinated when it comes to this one point as it pertains to you, Terrence, because as I had mentioned before, I've been able to witness you for years doing what you've done being at large events connecting with audiences, quote unquote, working a room and seeing you at these events.

One of the things that has always amazed me is your ability to connect with everyone, connect with people, regardless of what generation they're from, what background they have, what kind of profession they have.

It's very, the skills that you have when it comes to connectivity is incredible. One of the things in the marketing world,

that I like to talk about is an ICP slash C. So for those of listening that are familiar with that, it is an ideal client persona or community.

So basically, it's someone building an image in their mind of who their ideal client would be, and then thinking about it from a community perspective.

So as an example, the family situation, someone's client might be in, know, are they single? Are they a single parent?

Are they married? Are they married in empty nesters? Maybe they're married and they have grandchildren. All of these different stages in life, those individuals might connect with different stories.

Then it goes even deeper. know, what generation are they from? they a baby boomer? Generation X, millennial Gen Z.

A lot of these generations are becoming, know, of them are very dominant in the workplace, right? So it's very important to recognize that the generation, the highest level of education they have a different.

job responsibilities because this changes the way that we are sharing different stories because there's a story that might land really great with a baby boomer, but it's not going to land with Generation Z.

And I bring all this up because you have mastered the art of connecting across the board. So I want to talk to you about that was do you think there's some type of training that you you've received in your life?

Do you think it was more instinctual just because of all the thousands of talks you've given over the last few decades?

How did you get to the point where you can connect with people from every stage of life?


Terence Farrell 

Well, I think first of all it starts out with liking people When you like people you then want to hear Their stories where did they come from?

What do they have in common with you and it's very easy to just share your own story when you hear elements of your story in the person you're talking to

or that person hears elements of your story. So first of all, and there are politicians who don't like people, don't like the stage and they're fairly good at faking it.

But I think, you know, you mentioned being able to connect with people from various walks of life, generations, et cetera, because they're, you know, I've gone through a lot of different stages in my life, done a lot of different things, been in a lot of different situations.

And those are all human situations, you know, when you talk about some of the great writers, whether they're play writers or poets or whatever, they are revealing aspects of the human condition that you as a reader relate to.

So you can understand and maybe be that emotion that you're feeling can be deepened because that writer sees something, but there has to be some initial connection.

So I think first of all, know, I like people, I like the, you know, understanding. And being a student of the human condition and I you know, I try to be authentic You know, I've been there.

I've done that in many many cases.


Matt Zaun 

You know, I don't have to to make up Stuff, you know that I've been through And I've been through, you know What you know what people know about me probably is the tip of the iceberg of what I've been through in my 70 plus years of living on this planet That's an important point that I I want to I want to get to I want to stress something that you said But I want to get to the point of it really the word that's coming to my my mind is empathy So we'll get there in a moment, but I do want to stress You said the importance of liking people so when you said that the idea of curiosity came to my mind, you know, I during The first year of covid.

I spent a great deal of time reading biographies I and some autobiographies as well, but I I spent that year just reading

tons of different biographies and I was making a list of different, different attributes that some of these incredible people had, whether they were inventors or artists or maybe a movie star or business guru.

And one of the attributes on that list was curiosity. They were highly curious people. So when they, when they found out about a certain topic subject, they were very curious regarding that, that topic, never going into it thinking that they know everything about it.

They would dive deeper and they asked great questions. It all came back to curiosity. And one of the things when you said about you liking people and being someone that likes people is you're a highly curious person, Terrence, when you are connecting with others.

And I think I mentioned the story to you that we were at an event. This is a long time ago, was well over a decade ago.

my wife was with me and you were. You had a conversation with my wife, you found out a little bit about what she does as a profession.

And then we were at an event, this is several months later. And you went up to her and you immediately went into asking her about what was happening at her work.

And you asked really engaging curious questions. She remembers that conversation to this day. In fact, I remember her talking about it.

had such a powerful connection when it came to that curiosity. So I just wanted to stress that point, the importance of being curious with other people.

And actually not only liking people, but being curious about it, which brings out that likability.


Terence Farrell 

Yeah, being curious about it in an authentic kind of way. It's not just to ask questions for asking questions, but to find out a little bit more about what Courtney is feeling.

What is going on in her life right now. And when you're authentic, know. whether it's the empathy or some kind of telepathic communication, I'm not sure exactly how communication actually takes place, face-to-face communication involves all the things that happen when you look at somebody's face, but the tone of their voice, the movement of their body, etc.

There's what's happening on the surface and then there's so much more about how the energy is conveying between people, but when you're actually seriously interested in somebody, then that makes an impression.

It burns some kind of image into you. You did ask about whether there are quote-unquote techniques you can learn, and I guess you underscored it really or peeled back the onion of basically asking questions.

It's an old cliche that we have two ears and one mouth, so we probably listen twice as much as we do talk, but what, you know, there are techniques of just what happened next, you know, and that's that's the beginning of a great story.

If you have that question in your mind, you're hooked. What happened next and why did you do that? did something happen before this to make you move into that space.

So you, when asking the questions and the way to remember something is by creating a story about that person in your own way.

So, when you have enough pieces, it might not be the full complete accurate story, but it's a story that you can remember so that when you see that person the next time, you know, that story comes to the forefront and you're willing to able to reengage that person's story.


Matt Zaun 

So I appreciate mentioning the authenticity, because I have seen people that it's almost like a check the box, where it's so forced it's so calculated they're just going down a running list when it comes to

questions and that comes across as almost a repellent. people don't like that. They want that authenticity. And I think a big part of it is the importance of going into it with a new lens.

Even though we might understand it a little bit, but being so curious because the this meeting is being recorded.

I much about practicing when it comes to We're all in an ins and outs of guitar. But I've seen numerous people play a guitar.

know what the instrument is. I know the basic premise of it. So even though I know what a guitar is, even though I understand it, I have some of my favorite musicians that are really good when it comes to guitar.

I might go into that conversation with the new lens on your experience when it comes to playing guitar. be different than the musicians I listen to.

So the curiosity and based on what I've learned from you is being curious about it, going into it, asking you questions about maybe different bands that you're involved with right now and your journey at this point when it comes to guitar.

So I think it's really important because I've seen so many people that they have this mindset of I know what it's about, I've heard it, I've seen it, I've done it.

You mentioned all the different decades in your career, you're in your 70s now. So it would be very easy for you to look at people thinking to yourself, I've lived it, I've done it, I've seen this a million times, but you don't go into it with that mindset.


Terence Farrell 

And I think that's what separates you when it comes to that curiosity. Well, I don't go into it saying I've seen it a million times because, you know, my experience is not exactly the same as someone else.

And the curiosity would be, you know, you were in this situation, what did you do? Oh, you know, that is another

response and maybe it's a learning experience for me as to what I could have done or what I could do.

But being surprised at how someone reacts to a situation that you've been in encourages you to dig deeper to find out why they did that, what motivates them, who that person is.

And I think, as you say, curiosity encourages you to learn. There's a short story and I'll just tell it quickly, it relates to not just politics, but business.

One of my key components of my three to thrive is education. My three to thrive and get up every day, kick at it, document what I'm doing and continuously educate myself because I don't want to reinvent the wheel and there's so much knowledge that I can learn from.

Human beings, people, or the only animals that actually can learn from other people's experiences. Other animals know their own experience.

They don't have at least cognitive language like we do, but we can read books, we can see movies, can learn from other people's mistakes.

The quick story is about Bill Gates going on a vacation to a wife with his wife. is obviously before they were divorced.

And maybe a reason why they got divorced was they going on to a vacation to a wife a couple weeks.

And he reads 13 books in 14 days. But he's one of the great minds of our time. And he reads to learn to know what the next thing coming around the bend is.

He might have spent a little bit more time with his wife in Hawaii, not reading. But that is for other people to debate.

Point is that. education is critical learning, learning from other people is important. So I've always been curious and I always like to learn from other people through conversation.


Matt Zaun 

So I appreciate you mentioning that story regarding books because it's interesting to me. I'd love to know more the psychology of this but I can tell a difference when it comes to my communication, when I am in the process of reading a book or not.

It's amazing to me. So there are times in my life where I will block off a certain time in the evening to read and then there are times where life gets in the way and I'm not doing that at that moment.

I can tell a difference when it comes to my ability to connect with others while I'm reading and I think part of it is because I'm learning, I have different stories that are coming out of the text that I can relate to more people because it expands my lens.

So I appreciate you mentioning the book piece. I do Punish ship gears back to something where I had mentioned that I really wanted to touch on this because you talked about Trying to see something from someone else's perspective because it's their experience and you know, it's so powerful How empathy can connect us with others people that have gone through experiences They understand it empathize with others, but it does come from Often substantial pain Where we we know how to empathize because we've been there.

We know how to connect I mean there are experiences in my life that have been really painful And it's amazing my ability to connect with someone based on that pain like I And I'm sure you know this turns last last year my family experienced a very bad flood in the area that caused major Damage to to my house.

So now when i'm scrolling through channels and I see different news images on a screen, even if it's thousands of miles away, I see images of a city flooded, that hits me differently now, because I understand what it's like to lose a lot based on flooding.

But that comes back to the pain element. So I want you to talk about that because going through life, where you are, you had to experience a lot of setbacks, different failures, many elements of pain aspects of sorrow.

Do you believe that that has positioned you to have the empathy to connect with others? And then if so, what words of would you share with individuals listening, regarding them and bracing the empathy as a superpower that they may have now based on that pain and sorrow?


Terence Farrell 

Well, this is a great topic, Matt, because pain generates empathy. And there are studies that show that the moment

Most empathetic people on the planet are those who have been tortured. And once you have been tortured, I mean, severe torture where you thought you may not live or not.

other people are, you know, implying or putting pain upon you. You come out of that situation and you have a, I don't know, your empathy, your compassion for other people who has expanded.

When you're talking about pain going through situations, it, once again, it does make you more sensitive to people, to humanity.

know, you have been in that situation where, you know, you've had floodwaters in your house, floodwaters in your community.

So it's not something you can pass over lightly. You know, that feeling is generated when you read about somebody else or hear about somebody else, that feeling comes back.

So, and it's, you know, it's, I guess, a life fully lived. cannot be lived without pain. You're going to bump up against the wall.

You're going to scrape your knee in the fall. You're going to learn from a painful situation. You might have a business that fails.

You might have a product that doesn't launch as you thought it would be. All these situations that involve pain are not in the long run negative experiences because if you're willing to look at them as learning opportunities, then the next time you encounter something similar, you're older, you're wiser, your point of view is larger.

Maybe you're willing to learn from somebody else that you weren't willing to learn from because you thought you knew it all and you had not gone through that pain point.

So pain is a purifier and pain is a great teacher and pain is the basis of empathy.


Matt Zaun 

And isn't it amazing that individuals that are out there showing you earn a lot of stories as they're going through a painful experience, that's a story that they can add to the story bank where they can capture that story to share with others.

It's amazing. I've shared this before on this podcast with other guests, people that listen week by week, they might be getting a little bit bored of this example.

But I think it's so important to recognize it and actually do something with it, not just hear it for the same again for the same.

But also taking it and adding action to it. So I always like to talk about stand up comedians, one in particular, my favorite, who's Jerry Seinfeld.

And one of the things about Jerry Seinfeld is as he's going through his day to day life, he asks himself one question.

Where is the funniness? So he takes copious notes. He's always carrying an opinion paper with them for those listening that aren't independent paper.

You could deal with your phone as well. different applications, but he's constantly going through an experience and asking himself, where's the funniness?

So if he's at the grocery store, if he's witnessing something, maybe watching something take place, he's asking himself in all these instances, where is the funny?

When it comes to us in our lives, as it pertains to business, whether it pertains to us with nonprofit work or the political world, whatever, we need to ask ourselves, where is the story in this?

Where's the story in this that they can utilize to connect with an audience in a deeper way? So I had mentioned briefly regarding the flood, clearly there's a lot of stories I could share with, with what that meant for my family and I, I've shared those stories.

So I've connected with others, you had mentioned kind of bring it back to your first point, Terrence, regarding trust and likability, but one-on-one stories, I've shared that story with a

others that's made a deeper connection with others. In addition, I've shared that in printed form on social media. That went viral.

I posted a picture of the devastating flooding that my town was experiencing based on a story. destroyed my entire office.

There's a ton of damage that it caused. I shared that it went viral. There were so many people that were reaching out to me regarding that story.

It was incredible. My point is, I could have sat with it with sorrow, but I've learned over the years through some great communicators.

Don't let a great story go to waste, utilize that story for growth. I did use it in a business way.

actually got inbound leads from sharing that story on LinkedIn. Can you talk about that, Terence, regarding going about your day to day life and taking notes and properly documenting stories, the importance of that?


Terence Farrell 

Well, two points. One thing I'd like to underscore or highlight is the fact that Jerry Seinfeld carried materials so that he could actually write and Writing is so key to understanding What's going on around you?

What's going on inside of you and the stories you actually have and when you're just living your life Going from moment to moment from task to task you sometimes Miss the importance of a moment that just transpired But if you have time to reflect you have time to write it down you have time to think about it then it crystallizes into a message into a learning experience into a teaching so I would encourage all those people in business to Make notes whether it's contemporaneous notes with a with a notebook as you're going along or at the end of the day or at the beginning of the day writing

about some aspect of your life, trying to understand through the writing, know, how you can make your business better or what experience you had that you can learn from.

And then the other thing about, you know, stories and the kind of stories that people are sharing sometimes on social media where, you know, they make everything drenching with hyperbole about how great it is, how much money they're making, how many likes they're getting and so on.

And it's not really authentic. And, you know, people want to hear authentic stories that they can relate to. You know, something happened that went wrong.

It was a flood. You know, the cars stopped, you know, some even more painful stories that people share are going to touch and resonate with some people out there.

that's all you want to do. You don't need to resonate with everybody. out there. You're only looking for those folks that resonate to this particular aspect of life of humanity.

So tell your stories, but tell them truthfully. know, tell the things that haven't worked as well as, you know, some of things that did.

So people will start to believe you and trust you more because you're authentic and that will enhance your brand.


Matt Zaun 

Incredibly wise words. Thank you. I appreciate you sharing that. I appreciate this conversation. And I appreciate all the conversations we've had this far capturing elements of your journey through storytelling.

So thank you so much, Terrence. I got a lot out of this conversation. I actually got five things out of this conversation in particular that I want to highlight.

So I know other listeners might have gotten other elements, but I got five different things out of this conversation.

First and foremost, you mentioned trust and likability. The importance of not only being on a stage and connecting with whether it's hundreds or thousands of people, but you.

The sheer importance of connecting with someone one on one through listening and then storytelling that really builds that trust and like ability.

I appreciate the second point you mentioned, which was the theatrical piece. It's the delivery. you it's so I want people listening.

The next time you watch someone that you view as a great speaker. Also think about the content. Is the content really masterful or are they just so good at delivery with their theatrics that that is why you view them as a great speaker.

It's very important regarding delivery. I appreciate the verbiage mentioned excitement is like a drug regarding dopamine hits. That's one of the reasons why people love scrolling on their phone.

They're constantly getting dopamine hits. If we can spike people's dopamine in a story presenting connecting to them, they remember that people love to be excited.

Speaking of people, the fourth point you said, liking people that goes back to you. your curiosity when it comes to people.

then the fifth point that I don't want people to miss is you saying pain generates empathy. Such a powerful line.

So I appreciate everything that you mentioned. If people listening want to get more information on you, what you do, they want to reach out to you for your services, where's the best place they can go to get that information?


Terence Farrell 

Well, Matt, the best place to find me is on LinkedIn, some unusual spelling, not typical in my first name, three E's, one R.

But if you would just put a link to my LinkedIn profile in the comments, people will be able to reach out and find me there.

There's contact information, my email, and we can continue this conversation or start new ones through that link.


Matt Zaun 

Perfect. I will include your link in the show notes. People could just click and go from there. Thanks again, Terrence.

I very much appreciate your time today.


Terence Farrell 

Thank you, Matt, for having me once again. Enjoy your holiday. season and if I don't see you before then happy new year.



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