ONE OF THE most common questions I get in my seminars is “Does my story have to be true?” When I dig a little deeper, I find out it’s generally one of two types of questions. One is “Can I make up an entire story?” The other is “Does every detail in my story have to be accurate?”

We discussed the first type in Chapter 12, where you read my perhaps surprising answer that “Yes, it’s okay to make up an entire story,” but under one condition. And that condition is that your audience knows you made it up. Otherwise, you risk losing all credibility.

A few well-chosen words at the beginning of your story lets your audience know. ...

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