Vulnerability: the courage to talk about failure.
Some of the best stories are about failures and defeats. The Moth founder and writer George Dawes Green said,
"Nobody wants to hear about your triumphs. We want to hear about what a fool you are, because that’s what we are."
Most people, however, do not want to talk about their failures, their struggles, or their weaknesses. But your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable is what draws your audience in.
Here is an example of vulnerability from "Her Way" by Malcolm Gladwell:
And as they walk towards the door, he looks back at me.
And the look in his eyes is a mixture of pain and confusion and betrayal. It's one of the most painful moments of my life. And it's also the last time I ever laid eyes on Craig.
Here is another example of vulnerability from "The Accident" by Ophira Eisenberg:
I wasn't really the strong one; they were the strong ones, because they had carefully led me to this place where I could live like an absolutely normal sixteen-year-old kid.
And Adrienne was never gonna be sixteen. It hit me hard, staring at the handwriting of her mourning father. And I couldn't run off to my Barbie Dreamhouse.
And for the first time, I sat down at that dining room table, and I cried.