The Business Gay Podcast with Host Calan Breckon
The Business Gay
The Psychology Behind Effective Storytelling with Priya Sam
The Psychology Behind Effective Storytelling with Priya Sam

In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with story architect, keynote speaker, and coach, Priya Sam.

Priya’s work focuses on helping women and people from underrepresented groups tell their stories.

Her workshops and keynotes guide audiences through discovering their biggest turning points and crafting impactful stories that build confidence and help unlock professional opportunities.

Priya’s passion for storytelling was born during her time in journalism where she was a reporter, news anchor, and morning show host with CTV. She is best known for her time on the national morning show, “Your Morning,” as well as her podcast, “Turning Point” with Priya Sam.

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Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

  • [01:55] Storytelling is crucial for connecting with people in business and pitching. People remember stories and emotional connections more than just information.
  • [03:30] Finding the personal angle in any story or business makes it interesting and relatable, distinguishing you from competitors.
  • [05:18] Transitioning from journalism to tech required connecting skills gained from storytelling, personal angles, and emotions to enhance product presentations.
  • [10:54] Entrepreneurs must be effective storytellers; your story sets you apart and resonates with the right customers, creating an emotional connection.
  • [14:58] Sharing an authentic story creates an emotional impact, differentiating you in networking, marketing, and branding, leading to memorable connections.
  • [23:22] Start your storytelling with a clear goal in mind to guide your narrative.
  • [23:50] Hook your audience early; the beginning of your story is crucial for capturing attention.
  • [24:34] Provide detailed descriptions to paint a vivid picture, enhancing listener engagement.
  • [26:12] Sharing personal vulnerabilities in storytelling can foster deeper connections and inspire change.
  • [31:46] Being authentic and incorporating your true self into your narrative is key to effective storytelling.


Calan Breckon: 00:00:00 Today’s episode is sponsored by 10 Web. Need to migrate your website over to WordPress because you know it will improve your s e o performance and your website speed, but you dread the idea of actually doing it. Yeah, been there. Sounds like you should check out 10 Web. Not only can you use their AI website builder to easily migrate your exact website over page for page, but you can also host using 10 Web and optimize your website speed. I migrated my website over to WordPress using 10 web and my website speed went from being an awful 64 all the way up to 97 where it regularly sits. This has a huge effect on your SS e o and your website searchability. If you wanna start ranking number one on Google, you need to have a fast website, which you can do by checking it out That’s, or just click the link in the show notes. Now, let’s get into today’s episode.

Welcome to the Business Gay Podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon, and on today’s episode, I have a very special guest, Priya Sam. Priya is a storytelling expert, keynote speaker and coach who focuses on helping women and people from underrepresented groups tell their stories. Her workshops and keynotes guide audiences through discovering their biggest turning points and crafting impactful stories that build confidence and help unlock professional opportunities. Priya’s passion for storytelling was born during her time in journalism where she was a reporter, news anchor, and morning show host with CTV. She’s best known for her time on the National Morning Show, your morning, as well as her podcast Turning Point with Priya Sam. Now let’s get into the story with Priya.

Hey. Hey, Priya. How’s it going? Welcome to the show.
Priya Sam: 00:01:56 Oh, thank you so much for having me, Calan. It’s great to be here.
Calan Breckon: 00:01:59 I know, I’m so excited to dive into our conversation today because I think that, you know, the psychology behind storytelling is so important, and I realized this more now that I’m getting into the world of business and pitching specifically. I’ve just noticed there’s such an important resonance with story because people don’t connect with, you know, just information. They connect with stories.
Priya Sam: 00:02:25 Yes. Oh my gosh. You basically just described, you know, the work that I’m doing because it’s so true. Those are, the stories are what people remember. Um, they’re what, you know, hit that emotional note for people. And for most of us, when we’re in business, we are offering something that somebody else is offering too. So your story is also what makes you stand out
Calan Breckon: 00:02:48 110%. So you were actually in news for quite a while. What did the time over in news teach you about storytelling? Because I know that that’s your past, that’s your history.
Priya Sam: 00:03:01 Yeah, and this is really where, you know, my love of storytelling, I feel like has always been there, but I think I really started to experience the power of it during my time in news. So, um, I’ve always really loved personal stories and stories of people who have overcome obstacles or have, you know, done something amazing or unusual. And, um, I always gravitated towards those stories when I was doing news. Um, and, you know, I did a lot of morning shows, so those stories came up a lot. But what I would dread were the days when I would get assigned a story like go to city hall and cover the budget announcements today, you know, um, and to me those stories were boring. It was all about the numbers, and I, I didn’t like doing them until, uh, one day I was working on a story.
Priya Sam: 00:03:50 It was actually, um, a new, um, uh, a new budget. And the crux of the, the budget or what people were talking about was, uh, changes to some of the budgets for schools. So, you know, I was like, okay, we’ll do some graphics, show the numbers. And my producer said, no, because that’s not what people care about. I mean, that’s, that’s part of the story, but people wanna know, how does this affect people? So you’re gonna go to a school and you’re gonna talk to parents about how this is going to change their lives, you know, now that these afterschool programs aren’t being funded anymore, how are they going to manage to pick their kids up when they have full-time jobs? You know, how is this going to impact them? So that’s what I did, and really the light bulb went off for me there, that it, it’s not just about, you know, the kind of story that you are telling you can actually make any story, any brand, any business. Interesting. You have to just get to that personal angle and get past the numbers and the descriptors.
Calan Breckon: 00:04:48 Yes. Which is so important because I mean, it, it took me understanding that from like a pitching point of view, because I had to go and watch some pitches and I was like, God, these are so boring. And then realizing that the ones I really liked, it wasn’t even really about their business. It was about them as a human, as an individual. And that’s when it really clicked for me as I was like, oh, the humanization of it all, because we connect over stories, like we’ve been doing it over the fire for like, our whole existence. Like stories is how we’ve conveyed messages from generation to generation. And it’s, it’s just so important. So how did storytelling help you make the transition from journalism into tech and then into what you do now? Because I know that that’s been a journey and adventure, and I’d like to hear the story on that.
Priya Sam: 00:05:38 Storytelling was so key, uh, to my success with making a career change. You know, when I was trying to find, um, a new career, uh, when my time in journalism was sort of coming to an end, I was looking all over the place and I really thought at the beginning I didn’t have anything special to offer to anyone outside of journalism. You know, I’d spent my most of my career, um, as a reporter and morning show host. So how is someone in the business world going, um, to see the value in that? Um, but what I started to realize is that I could pull stories, um, that connected to skills. So for example, that story about, you know, making this budget interesting, I realized, you know, that actually could translate very well to sales because when you’re pitching products, you know, of course you know the quality of your product product is important, but you really need to be able to tell a story around it that’s going to connect with the person you’re pitching to.
Priya Sam: 00:06:35 So learning about some of the skills that some of these jobs were looking for became much more important to me than, um, the actual job descriptions themselves. So I applied for a job in, uh, tech sales, um, really as a product specialist, someone who would kind of be presenting vision, visionary presentations of how a product could change the way a company operated. And what I brought to the interview process was my personal story, my passion for storytelling, and this ability to really bring numbers to life in a way that was interesting. And to tell stories with vivid descriptions, um, to learn what my customers or what other people cared about. You know, in TV it was the audience. What does this audience care about? What do they connect with? It’s really the same in sales. What does this audience care about? And how do I bring that into my presentation?
Priya Sam: 00:07:28 So really being able to tell that story, that’s what helped me to, to make the career, career transition and to help the people I was interviewing with, see the value in the skills that I had to offer. Um, and now as a consultant, as a keynote speaker, I really do the same thing. So I always start with figuring out what does my audience care about? You know, if I’m trying to be a speaker at a conference, what is this conference? What is the goal of this conference? What do they want people, um, their attendees to care about? And then I incorporate that story into my own story, uh, as I’m pitching myself.
Calan Breckon: 00:08:00 That’s, I mean, that’s amazing. Yeah. Uh, to start off with, but it, I wanna say it’s almost as if really great marketing is just really great storytellers.
Priya Sam: 00:08:12 Yes. I think that is so accurate. Yes. And I think we don’t hear the word storytelling as much, right? We hear words like marketing and branding, but I agree with you. It really is all storytelling. Yeah.
Calan Breckon: 00:08:25 Like marketing and branding. To me, if it was just more storytelling, I’d be way more open to it than it’s like, oh, here’s the marketing and branding. It’s like, no, no, no, here’s the story. Here’s like why you should care. ’cause that resonates so much louder with people. So when you went into this tech job that you applied to, did you necessarily have all the skills that they had written down as their needs and wants? Or did you go in there going, you know what, I’m just gonna tell the story and I’m gonna sell that and see how it goes?
Priya Sam: 00:08:52 Yeah. So I absolutely did not have the skills I had. I mean, I had, uh, I did not have the technical knowledge for sure. I still remember with my first week of training, every night I would go home with a list of acronyms that I had to look up. ’cause I had no idea, you know, what they were. So I did find, um, the initial stages were, it took me longer to learn the product and to acquire the technical knowledge than somebody else who had a tech background. But what happened very quickly for me was the comfort level in presenting, because I wasn’t nervous, you know, from my time in journalism, I talked to people on the best days of their life. I talked to people on the worst days of their lives. Um, I talked to CEOs, I talk to celebrities. You know, I talk to everyday people.
Priya Sam: 00:09:34 So being in a room with executives, um, really didn’t phase me. And I was so used to being quick on my feet, um, to being comfortable in front of a group of people that that part came easily. So I would say the training was kind of backwards for maybe a typical candidate. Um, but you, you know, it, it all worked out. And I really, um, I really found a sweet spot there. And my area of expertise in storytelling became really helpful for other people that I worked with too, who had those technical skills, but needed the storytelling to help them be better at their jobs.
Calan Breckon: 00:10:06 Right. And it just goes to show you that so many opportunities out there, you don’t have to fit the cookie cutter. You just need to know what your strong point is. And if somebody wants you bad enough, they will find a way to get you into the system to be like, you have such an asset that we need. Because it’s true. A lot of people out there have technical skills, but they don’t have the storytelling skills, which is so important to being an entrepreneur. So, I mean, let’s dive in more to why it’s so important to telling, uh, to, to be able to tell cons, compell stories as an entrepreneur. Ooh, I am tongue tied today. .
Priya Sam: 00:10:49 No, I mean, I all good. I at least you’re not on live TV being tongue tied , because that’ss definitely not fun. I’ve been there.
Calan Breckon: 00:10:57 . Yeah, you’ve got that skillset. I don’t necessarily have that one. Um, so yeah, so why is it so important? Like, let’s get in more as to why it’s so important that an entrepreneur specifically is really great at storytelling. Because like I said, I’ve seen a ton of pitches that are just so dry that I’m like, I don’t care about your business, but it’s the ones that have that little extra spice and personality to it that really get me.
Priya Sam: 00:11:23 Yes. And I think your story is the one thing you have that differentiates you from everyone else. You know, chances are you might have an offering that’s slightly unique, but for most of us, we’re doing some variation of what someone else is doing, right? But what sets your offering apart is you. So I think being able to tell that story is really important because it’s what’s going to bring in the right customers. Because also, if your story resonates with someone, chances are that’s someone that you want to work with. So aside from being, you know, a great way to just attract new people, I also think it’s a great way to attract the right people and the right customers for you. Um, and I think being able to tell a story that people remember is also really key to that. Because if someone’s just watching a quick reel or maybe, you know, you have a Facebook or a Google ad, you have 30 seconds to hook that person. So one of the most important pieces in, in those situations is giving some detail right off the top that is really memorable and that’s going to hook people in.
Calan Breckon: 00:12:33 Yes. And I know this because I, you know, when I was going to write my first pitch, I wrote it and I wrote my intro and it was, Hey everybody, my name’s Callan Breckon. You can pronounce it like Alan, but with a C in the front of it. Because people never know how to pronounce my name. They’re like, Kalin, this, that, and the other. I’m like, it’s Callan. And so if I give them that, what is it? Alliteration as to like, how to actually say my name, it sticks. And I had so many people coming up to me after I did that first pitch being like, oh my goodness, I remember your name. I remember you. And like, throughout that whole conference, I was like, okay, I’m onto something here.
Priya Sam: 00:13:09 Yes. Oh, that’s so brilliant because especially because it’s your name and as, uh, conferences, people are seeing dozens, if not more sessions. So finding a way like that to stand out makes such a big difference. And that immediate connection with the audience too. Yeah,
Calan Breckon: 00:13:23 I love it. Exactly. Exactly. So I want to dive in a little bit more. What is like the psychology behind having a company story? ’cause we know it’s important, but like, what’s like, the other side of it? Like what information do you have for us on that side of things?
Priya Sam: 00:13:38 This is really all about emotion and emotional connection. You know, even think about being at a networking event. The people that you are going to connect with after that, you’re gonna follow on LinkedIn, they’re people who made some kind of impression on you. And 99% of the time it was some kind of emotional impression. They told a story that triggered, you know, happiness, excitement, frustration or anger, some kind of emotional trigger. Um, and we know, you know, different, different, uh, emotions work in, in different ways, right? Depending on, on the situation. Like, we often gravitate, especially when you think of a brand story towards a positive emotion. Um, but sometimes you’re in a networking situation and you’re talking about a difficult experience that somebody else has been through. And that emotion also sticks with people. So I think depending on the situation you’re in, um, and you know, I, I know I’m talking about it in kind of a scientific and analytical way, um, but the most impactful emotional connections are authentic. So it’s not about creating some kind of fake emotion, it’s about tapping into a real emotion that you feel, um, or, you know, in the case of a brand that your brand is about, but people are smart and they will feel that authenticity. So that part of it is also really key.
Calan Breckon: 00:14:57 Yeah, that actually brings up a quote. I’m pretty, I could be very wrong. I’m pretty sure it was Whoopi Goldberg who said this, that people won’t remember really who you are or what you do, but they’ll remember how you made ’em feel.
Priya Sam: 00:15:10 Yes.
Calan Breckon: 00:15:11 And that’s like a thousand percent. That’s that’s so true, because I just actually just came back from a conference, and I don’t necessarily remember everybody’s names, but I can remember faces and I can remember the emotions I had around those people. Like, I remember being like, oh, they were super open and friendly, or, oh, they made me laugh so hard. Or, oh, they were just so lovely. Or like, ooh, they were really, really closed off. I don’t necessarily remember all their names off the bat, but I remember their faces and how they made me feel. And that is where people tie back to, do I wanna work with this person? Even if you didn’t talk about business?
Priya Sam: 00:15:46 Yes. That is a, like your description there. And just even connecting it to that situation, I mean, that is exactly what happens, whether we realize it consciously or not, the people who you remember the businesses that you’re gonna think about after they made you feel something
Calan Breckon: 00:16:03 Always, you always, there’s always some sort of a feeling. And so it’s like, I know this is hard, but if you’re gonna be in business, you need to be at least aware of other people. You don’t need to be a social butterfly. You don’t need to go out there and do all the crazy things. You just need to know who you are and what you offer and what your story and connection is or can be, and how you best fit with other people. ’cause everybody has different layers. We’re all multifaceted. We’re not just one thing or the other. So how can someone begin to figure out what their story is, or at least one that they want to share with the audience or with the person that they’re sharing in that moment?
Priya Sam: 00:16:42 This is something I work with my clients with all the time, and I think it’s one of the most challenging things to do because our stories are our own. You know, they’ve, they’ve been around us our whole lives, so it’s hard for us to figure out what’s interesting. So I always recommend with starting by asking the people around you, the people you’re closest to, um, or, you know, even even newer friends, like, what do you think is most interesting about me? Or what’s a story that I’ve told you that stands out, um, to people who have known you for a long time? When did you notice a big change in me? What life events, um, do you think, um, if you were looked at, my life would divide into, you know, before and after? And I think often, um, when you’re thinking about a personal story, finding those pivotal moments, uh, in your life, those are a great place to start because usually there’s, um, emotion tied into them. There’s a life lesson tied into them. So I think that, um, as a per, as a personal story, when you’re looking, thinking about your personal story, that’s a great place to start.
Calan Breckon: 00:17:43 Okay. So those moments in life that happen to everybody where it’s like, Ooh, this is a life lesson. I know for me, mine was more admitting that I was ready to share that story, which I think is really important for people because I had my story for a long time, over a decade, but it was developing over that period of time. And it was only recently that I felt comfortable enough to start sharing that story. Um, so I’ll fill everybody else in a little bit more. It is part of my pitch. It is how I introduce myself. Um, I start off with my name and then I go into the fact that I’ve had a physical, um, disability for over 10 years now. Um, and it’s a physical medical kind of still undiagnosed today issue that kind of stopped me from being able to physically go out of my house a lot of the time.
Calan Breckon: 00:18:36 And so that really stopped me from being able to pursue a career outside of myself. I had to quit my job over in the Middle East, um, and come back to Canada and really try and figure out what was wrong with me physically. And we still technically don’t know what’s wrong with me. Um, but I lead with that in my story and my pitch because that’s part of why I became an entrepreneur. The reason I’m doing what I’m doing now is ’cause I had to create a job for myself because I couldn’t go outside of my house. And I didn’t necessarily wanna share that or lead with that because I felt like it was something that was a hindrance or it was something I was embarrassed about, or I didn’t wanna be known as that person. Um, but the more I kind of talked to people here and there and kind of let people in, the more it resonated with people is like, you’re a human being just like anybody else, and you have your struggles.
Calan Breckon: 00:19:26 And it gives them a reason to care about why I do what I do, and it gives me reasons to care to, you know, why I do what I do. And that right there just brought people into my story before I jump into like, and then this is what I do, ss e o specialist marketing storyteller online. Um, and it, it literally has changed my business and how I speak to people. I don’t always lead with that when I’m at like a conference or something or talking to somebody. I’m just, I am who I am. I’m a nerd. I like to deep dive into SS e o and I’ll talk your ears off about it. And that usually is what gets people, but again, that goes back to that whoopi quote of like, people will remember how I made them feel, and if they enjoyed that, then they’re gonna remember that joy. But it is so important to have that. And sometimes it’s getting to that place where you’re like, okay, this is my story and I’m gonna have to embrace that. Have you ever dealt with anybody or clients who are nervous about stepping into that story? ’cause I think that that’s a big piece of it.
Priya Sam: 00:20:27 Absolutely. That is a huge piece of it, because especially if your story, um, is emotional for you or, you know, you’re still working through a challenging part of it, it’s not always the right time to share and it’s not always the right time to share everything. Um, because you also want to feel good about sharing your story and, and, and how you’re sharing it. So I think, um, you know, for some clients it, they’re ready, but they’re still, um, a bit of a lack of confidence in whether other people care. So that part, um, you know, we can work on. I also find, um, in those situations, the best way to gain confidence is to practice telling it to people who you already know. You know? Um, so I work on the, like, let’s nail how you’re gonna tell it, and then you need to go out and, and, and practice telling it to people.
Priya Sam: 00:21:20 Um, but I also, I do think, you know, I’ve had people that I’ve worked with who think they’re ready to start talking about it, but we kind of get into it and it just isn’t the right time and it’s best to just wait. So I do think that, um, I’m certainly not someone who would ever try to force someone to, to share their story. I’ll definitely validate and let them know that I think it’s important and I think it will be really impactful. But I do think it’s really important to have that feeling in yourself that you’re ready.
Calan Breckon: 00:21:50 Yeah. And I fully agree because like I said, it’s almost 10 years on for me and just now I started sharing like, even friends of mine don’t know this. It’s like very close people in my life know that I have this issue, but for the most part, people had no idea. So it was like I was ready to start sharing this aspect of me because it is a huge part as to why I became an entrepreneur. And I was like, you know what? It’s time I feel ready. I’ve made progress, so I feel physically better in my life. Um, and I think that also definitely helped. So it was like, I’m on the, I’m, I’m on the other side of it kind of now. And instead of being in the messy middle of it, where if you’re in the messy middle, it’s not the right time to share .
Priya Sam: 00:22:31 Absolutely. And also, I’m really happy to hear that you are getting to the other side of that, because it’s also really difficult to be putting yourself out there and not being able to share everything. Right? So, um, I do find with a lot of my clients, once they get to the point of feeling good about sharing and sharing, there is like a sense of relief and almost like you can step into really being your whole self, um, everywhere you go. Yeah.
Calan Breckon: 00:22:54 Yeah. I fully agree. Um, so I do know that you have a three step storytelling process that you do work with people. Can you walk us through what that process might look like so that we can kind of try start figuring this out for ourselves?
Priya Sam: 00:23:08 Yes. So I always start with the end. So what is your goal? What is your goal for this story? You know, if you are someone who is trying to build out your network, for example, okay, who do you want in that network? Who are the people that you maybe are going to this networking event with that you really want to remember and to have a connection with after? So I think your audience, you know, if you’re doing a keynote, for example, I work with a lot of speakers, who’s in that audience? What is the goal for this keynote? I think it’s so important to start with that end piece, um, because it’s really gonna guide you through everything else. So once you have the end piece, um, the goal in mind, the next part is coming up with a hook. Uh, the first part of your story is so important because it’s the part that people are gonna decide whether they’re gonna keep listening or whether they’re gonna tune you out.
Priya Sam: 00:24:00 Um, so, you know, and it’s, it’s not necessarily like, um, a a traditional movie, for example, where the climax happens in the middle. You can give away the most compelling and interesting part of your story in the first 10 seconds because if people are interested, they’re going to listen. They’re, they’ll want to know how you got there. Um, so the last piece is, is filling in the details and being very detailed. So, you know, don’t just tell me you were in your parents’ living room, tell me, I was in my parents’ living room in the eighties. We had orange shag carpet and this velvety brown and orange flowered couch. You know, I, all of those details are so important. Um, and especially if you are telling a story and you don’t have any visual cues with you, you really need to be able to paint that picture with your words. So, so that’s the last step, and that’s the step that I feel like, uh, typically takes the most time.
Calan Breckon: 00:24:53 Yes. And that makes so much sense because, um, uh, in the background of my life, I’m toying with writing like fiction fancy, because I just love, that’s I nerd out on that. Um, and then in writing there’s an author, oh, it’s an author, but they described it as this myth thisness. And it means like, when you’re really getting descriptive and when you’re reading something that’s super descriptive, it’s thisness and it’s like you’re paying attention to this thing and the ness of that thing, and you’re getting into the actual grainy detail of it, because that paints such a bigger picture for the reader. And it can be the exact same for here, where if you’re going into those details, you’re really painting that picture because you’re immersing people in that story. I know the best storytellers that I, I have had in my life, just even friends that just go on wild tangents, they add in the most random details and things, but it adds to the story that you’re like, that was so random and crazy, but like, it made the story better because it was random. And Andre .
Priya Sam: 00:25:56 Yes, definitely. And then, you know, you’re, you are creating this like, movie in your head too, and it s it allows you as the listener to fill in the details and to have a better visual of, of what this looked like, which also makes it more memorable. Oh,
Calan Breckon: 00:26:11 A hundred percent. Uh, do you have a specific keynote that you’ve done or that you’ve seen that really had an impact on you?
Priya Sam: 00:26:23 So, you know what I’ve been, uh, I’ve, I have one that I’ve delivered a few times, which is, um, about my personal story. And I talk about, you know, leaving journalism. I talk about, um, the, the biggest turning points in my life. And when I talk about leaving journalism, um, I share a lot of really vulnerable pieces of that experience for me, because I was experiencing racism and sexism, and, and that led to me having a mental health breakdown. And, and that was part of the reason I left. And I share this keynote, um, as part of a workshop that I do called Discover Your Story. And one of the most impactful parts of it for me and for the audience. You know, for me, every time I share, I do feel like I have to go back to some of those more difficult periods.
Priya Sam: 00:27:10 And to your point earlier, you know, I’m at a point now where I can do that, and it, it feels better than it did for a while where I, I couldn’t do it without, you know, breaking down again. But now when I do that, what I see happen in the audience is other people start to drop their guards. They start to realize, you know, okay, now she’s setting the stage with vulnerability, with honesty. And now when we go into the workshop, I know that I can be vulnerable, I can be honest as well. And so I think that that is a really powerful part of sharing your story too, is that, you know, of course you, you have an impact, you make these connections, but you can also help invoke change in other people too. Um, and I’ve seen so many people in those workshops really start to dig deep and, and uncover, um, and talk about parts of themselves that they haven’t revealed before. Um, so I think there’s a lot of power in, in what you can accomplish by sharing your story too.
Calan Breckon: 00:28:06 Oh, definitely. Vulnerability. I mean, we all love Brene Brown. Vulnerability is a great connector, not for just the sake of being vulnerable, the inauthentic ness of vulnerability, like the oversharing, we all know what we’re talking about. Uh, but like the genuine, it’s the right moment. It’s the right energy. And you can either choose to share or not to share, but when it feels right, that’s those moments that come together and people feel connected. That’s what builds, builds community. That’s what bonds people in, um, the workplace, which I also think should be a, you know, a community in and of itself. Again, maybe a bit more professional, but there’s still space for that vulnerability because that’s how people come together and build that trust. ’cause how can you work with people if you don’t genuinely trust them? You need to open these things up. And it is definitely scary. But when done in the right circumstances, you know, through workshops, having people come in, then it can really be great, amazing team builder exercises for sure. To be able to do that kind of a thing.
Priya Sam: 00:29:10 I agree. And I think that, uh, in the corporate world, we need to make more space for events like that, for workshops, um, just for, for people to share their stories in general, because you, the people, you can work with them every day and not know what’s going on behind the scenes, you know, and it just, it helps, it reminds everyone that there’s more than just what you see nine to five or in that weekly meeting, you know, we all are multidimensional and have, um, so many other aspects to us. So I, I think it really does build better teams when you create space for those personal stories.
Calan Breckon: 00:29:45 Yes. Humanizing, we need to be humanized again. Yes. You’ve been turned into too many robots out there. We all need to come back to being humans again. Um, cheers. Do you have any, yes. Do you have any other tips, uh, for the audience listening about how to craft a compelling story or anything we haven’t touched upon yet that you want to throw in there?
Priya Sam: 00:30:04 Well, you know, I, I, something I find in myself working with a lot of my clients on is, uh, being themselves, which sounds like the easiest thing in the world. Um, and, you know, when I started working, um, I know you’re, I can see you nodding a lot. Yeah.
Calan Breckon: 00:30:19 Anybody who’s watching videos like, uh, seeing me laughing, nodding be like, no, it’s not the easiest thing in the world. Trust.
Priya Sam: 00:30:25 It really isn’t. Um, you know, I still remember when I started working on morning shows for the first time, I was very stiff and like, you know, I was the news anchor, but I was also a host. So I was trying to figure out like, how do I be like serious and credible, but also participate in these fun segments? Anyway, people kept telling me like, oh, you’re so stiff. You seem so uncomfortable. Just be yourself. I was like, how am I supposed to be? Like, I dunno, I think I’m being myself, am I not being myself? And then I, um, as I was kind of going through this, I was with my family for the weekend, and, um, one of the things my family loves is like really cheesy jokes in particular puns. And so we, we’ll just like, pun for like half an hour on like some topic.
Priya Sam: 00:31:07 So, um, anyway, uh, in this moment we were, when we were doing this, I was like, oh, this is part of who I am when I’m most comfortable, when I’m with the people I love and I’m most comfortable with, this is something I do. So let me just try and do this on the morning show and see what happens. So, you know, the next week I had was, you know, telling some story and I inserted a pun and everyone kind of like started laughing. And then I started getting messages from people who were watching like, oh, like, like, oh, I hate puns, but like, that made me laugh. Or like, oh, I love puns, and like, it was nice to see you and nice to see your personality. And so that was a moment where I realized, you know, I need to pull in those elements of who I am when I’m most comfortable, when I’m with the people I love.
Priya Sam: 00:31:56 Um, and, and that’s, that’s what it is to be yourself, but it, it’s not the easiest thing to do. So I think, um, for anyone, maybe you’re giving a presentation or, um, or you, you have an interview coming up, think about who you are, what do you talk about with the people you love the most? Um, and think about how you can bring that in. You know, sometimes it’s just a meme from your favorite show, but that’s gonna resonate with somebody in your audience too. Um, so, but that’s a technique that I’ve found, um, works for me and seems to work with a lot of people and feels a little more natural.
Calan Breckon: 00:32:28 Yeah, I love that. And it’s so important and it’s so true what you said, like being yourself isn’t exactly the easiest thing sometimes I think that in order to be yourself, that comes with a, not, maybe not a lot, but it comes with personal development work. Like, you have to be willing to get to know yourself in order to be yourself. And so if you can get to that place where you’re like, you know who you are, you have that confidence, that also is gonna be what resonates out there. You don’t need to be the most confident presenter or anything like that, but knowing who you are and what you stand for, you can bring that into the room. And then it’s like, you know, I’m just gonna be up here doing me being me, and then whatever happens is gonna happen. And I feel when people get afraid or get really scared, it’s because they’re more worried about what the people in the audience are thinking about them instead of worrying more about delivering the message they have to deliver.
Priya Sam: 00:33:19 Yes, yes. Oh, I totally agree with you. And I think you’re right. Once you can get over that hurdle, um, everything else is easier.
Calan Breckon: 00:33:29 Yeah. Once you flub up, oh, oh, I’m gonna leave us off on this, a perfect, perfect story. Um, so I was just in Denver at the, uh, N G L C C conference and, um, the national L G B T Q Chamber of Commerce in the US and, um, the Canadian delegates, we had a breakfast that we set up. And in the breakfast, it’s all, I think there was about 19 of us delegates, and then it was a bunch of corporates, like I’m talking like Kellogg’s, Google, like big corporates are represented, represented here. And so we all get our one minute to do our pitch. You know, we kind of, this is what’s going on in Canada, thanks for coming to breakfast. Everybody does their pitch. It’s like seven in the morning, it’s insane. Um, and I’m like the third person to go. And in my pitch I’m like, read, I’m like going through and I’m not a pitch person where it’s like I, I memorize it.
Calan Breckon: 00:34:21 It’s like I read my thing because that’s not something I do often. I just wanna get the message across. And in it, I’m talking about SS e o and building traffic. And an example that I had was building this one, uh, podcast that I used to be a part of. And so as like a social proof, it’s kinda like, oh, go Google this and then see what pops up. And basically what I ended up telling the whole room to go do is go look up gay porn because , because it’s the podcast, is gay men going deeper. Um, which I was on, which I still love and adore, but I said, go look up Gay Men podcast is what I’m supposed to say in order for them to see, oh yeah, it pops up number one, this is part of the work that I’ve done, social proof.
Calan Breckon: 00:35:03 But I just said, go look up gay men and see what pops up. And the whole room just erupt. Like it took a second and everybody’s head started to turn. And then everybody started laughing and I was like, oh no, . Oh my gosh. And I was like, this is the worst thing. This is that worst thing that everybody talked about happening. Um, but then I got it back on. I was like, podcast, podcast. And anyways, I got it back on track, I finished it and, but everybody laughed. And then later, um, my, the, the c e o of the C G l CCC Darrell, he came up to me and he’s like, well, um, the lady or no, yeah, he’s like, the, uh, the rep from Kellogg’s leaned over and went, oh, thank God. Like somebody made us all laugh. Now the ice is broken and now everybody can kind of relax a little bit.
Calan Breckon: 00:35:53 But it brought that energy. And also, nobody’s gonna forget me, everybody in that room. It was an ongoing joke. It was the joke in the text group. Everybody who remembered from that, they would come up to me and they were laughing. They’re like, oh ha, haha. Like, you need to, um, you know, oh, anyway, so it’s like, it was mortifying in the moment, but because I’ve done my work as to who I am, I’m like, it is, it’s funny, it was in the moment people could tell it wasn’t like a genu, like it was a genuine slip up and I didn’t mean to say. And so it was like all of that, you can either take it and be horrified and mortified or you can take it and run with it. And I decided to take it and run with it. And that built so many instantaneous connections with those corporates. ’cause they’re human too. We’ve all messed up. Um, and I think that’s just an important lesson that people take on with them, that it’s like to be human and to do those things can add value sometimes. So don’t worry about being perfect, worry about just delivering the right message and the right people will hear it.
Priya Sam: 00:36:54 Yes. And that story is such a perfect illustration of that. Um, and you also, your reaction was authentic. So I know people connected, uh, with that. It’s pretty funny too, and I love that. Really. Like, we all love when someone can make us laugh, whether it’s intentional or not. So yeah, I think that’s like a really, really great reminder to just roll with the punches sometimes in this
Calan Breckon: 00:37:18 Situation. Always, always. Have you ever had one of those flub up?
Priya Sam: 00:37:21 Oh my gosh, yes. Definitely. I’m trying to think of one now.
Calan Breckon: 00:37:27 I’m sure you’ve had ’em on the news.
Priya Sam: 00:37:29 Oh yeah, definitely. Oh my gosh, I’m completely drawing a blank. But that has definitely happened. I mean, especially in live tv, like sometimes things are just gonna go wrong and you really, really just have to roll with it. Um, I can think of one time actually when, um, this was more of a technical situation, but I usually would read the news at the, like the news desk. Um, but one of our hosts was sick in the morning, so I was doing like kind of the in-between hosting sections and then like go doing the news after. But it, this one part of the show, the two hosts would throw to me at the news desk. So I’m in this shot with the other host, you know, we’re doing a little banter bit, and then she’s just reading the teleprompter. She’s like, okay, now over to Priya with the news.
Priya Sam: 00:38:18 But I was sitting right next to her, and then the camera just went to this empty news desk. And so I like walked over, , sat down and was like, here I am. And thankfully the first story that day was like, not serious. So it was okay. And again, you just have to roll with it. Um, but it was like, it ended up being so funny. And then of course, you know, people who were watching in the morning, like half asleep drinking their coffee were like, thank you for the laugh this morning. So it, it just really like, you do just have to roll with it sometimes. Yeah. And you know, in those situations, like no one’s getting hurt, nothing bad’s gonna happen, so we should really just laugh at that .
Calan Breckon: 00:39:03 Exactly. Right. And it adds the hu humanity back into it. Totally. It’ll be a little bit lighter these days. Uh, this has been absolutely magical. Thank you so much for taking me more in depth behind the scenes as to like why storytelling is so important and how somebody can use it in their business. Where can people find out more about you and what you do?
Priya Sam: 00:39:23 Yeah. Well, you can find me on my website, priya Um, I am launching a course soon, so definitely, uh, check that out. And I’m also on Instagram at priya sam.
Calan Breckon: 00:39:32 Perfect. And also don’t forget to tune into the Turning Point podcast with Priya Sam.
Priya Sam: 00:39:38 Yes, absolutely. Yeah, I’ve got some great new guests coming up in the fall. I’m really looking forward to the next season. Awesome.
Calan Breckon: 00:39:44 I’m looking forward to listening. Thank you so much for being a guest on today’s show, Priya,
Priya Sam: 00:39:49 Thank you so much for having me, Calan. And all the best. I’m so excited, um, about everything that you’re doing now too. It’s just, it’s been really cool. You were a guest on my podcast, um, and it’s really been amazing to just follow your journey. So congratulations.
Calan Breckon: 00:40:02 Yes. And I’ll make sure to put all of these links in the show notes for you. I love Priya. She is just so awesome. I’m so glad that I was able to get her on the show. And I also loved her three-step process for figuring out what your story is. You know, start off with that end goal, who’s your audience, and then what is your hook? You can give it away at the beginning. You gotta hook people in. And then finally, details, details, details. You can find out more about Priya at and listen to her podcast Turning Point with Priya Sam. Or you can just go to the link in the show notes to find out more. Thanks again for tuning in today. Don’t forget to hit those like and subscribe buttons wherever you’re listening. And if you really enjoyed today’s episode, I would love a star rating from you. It really helps the show and it lets everybody know that it is magical. Alright, that’s it for today. Peace, love, rainbows.

Calan Breckon
Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and host of "The Business Gay" podcast. He has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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