Why Their Story is Better than Yours

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One of the most popularly referenced passages from the Bible – which most people don’t realize is from the Bible even when they’re quoting it – is from Mark 6:4, when Jesus said, “…a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, and among his relatives, and in his own household.”


For example: Have you ever tried to give your kids (or parents, or siblings) advice which they rejected outright or otherwise ignored completely… until they heard the same advice from a friend, an article, or a YouTube or Instagram “influencer,” after which they took it immediately to heart?


Then you understand what he was talking about.


There are some things for which you, yourself, can NOT be the messenger, if you want the message to land with impact.


Think about it: would you rather go up to someone and say, “I just want you to know that I’m awesome and you’d be crazy not to hire me” (or date me, or whatever,) or have someone else say to them, “Chris is an amazing (person/coach/analyst/leader/other)”?


And doesn’t the power of that endorsement increase dramatically if the person is able to share personal, first-hand examples of where you’ve done incredible work, shared invaluable guidance, or otherwise demonstrated great acts of empathy and kindness to them?


This is exactly why testimonials are one of the most powerful tools of persuasion imaginable, especially when the message you need to deliver or the topic you need to address is a difficult one.


That’s the focus of this week’s episode of Speaking to Influence. Dr. Nasser Khan, President of Acadia Healthcare’s 150 addiction treatment centers, shares the crucial role patient and family testimonials play in helping to allay fears and win over communities who may initially resist the construction of a facility in their neighborhood.



The biggest challenge, Dr. Khan explains, is that treatment centers “have a PR problem.” There’s a widespread misunderstanding that a “treatment center” is a euphemism for a “safe use house” where addicts would come to get clean needles, and potentially buy and sell drugs on or near the premises. (Nobody wants that in their backyard!)


But that’s the opposite of the truth: the treatment centers are where people go when they want to STOP using drugs.


So who is the better person to set the record straight:


  • the head of the facility, who people might falsely accuse of just being interested in making money? Or
  • A recovering addict and their family who regained their sense of purpose, their self respect, and got a second chance at life, thanks to the services they received at the center?


Even if Dr. Khan were to tell the story of that family, it wouldn’t be as powerful as hearing it come from the family members themselves.


The simple fact is that when it comes to highlighting your qualifications, “their” story is always better than yours.


Listen to the full conversation here or watch it on Youtube here.


But the beauty is that their success IS your success – and that is something to celebrate!


And speaking of celebrations, we’re excited to celebrate that this is our 150th episode of the Speaking to Influence podcast! It’s amazing how far we’ve come in less than three years.


As always, we love to hear from you, so let us know what you like best about the podcast, any changes you’d like to see, and any ideas you have for future guests.


By the way – have YOU ever thought about being a guest on a podcast? Whether you’re looking to expand your reputation as the “go-to thought leader” in your industry, or just looking to share your expertise in personal growth, hobbies, history or anything else, I guarantee there is a podcast out there looking for you to share your story.


If there’s one thing I have learned after conducting over 150 interviews as a podcast host, it’s what makes a guest stand out, and how to captivate an audience through specific storytelling tactics that make your story positively magnetic!


If you want to know the secret to making even the most experienced hosts finish interviewing you and say, “Wow, that was amazing!”, then I have an invitation for you.


This Friday, March 31st at NOON ET, I’m hosting an exciting event: “Nailing the Podcast Interview.” It’s a live Zoom meeting in which I'll reveal the inside secrets of


  • Telling HYPNOTIC stories
  • Developing rapport with the host AND the audience
  • The essential rule that is totally COUNTER-intuitive to all prior leadership training
  • Promotion and rankings
  • The importance of the prep and debrief calls


And more.


If you want to join us, just reply to this email with “See you Friday!” and I’ll send you a calendar invitation.


Looking forward to seeing you there.

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