“What we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
These words reflects so poignantly the thoughts about why this this topic is being discussed and offers a special invitation to you.
In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Jim Loehr, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement, examines the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our business and personal lives.
You are probably already aware that the use of stories and storytelling is emerging as a powerful communications tool and becoming integral to how communicators define their content marketing approach to growing our businesses.
While we’ve all seen or experienced the use of a dramatic story in a television commercial or customer testimonial, many businesses are finding that story offers a new and relevant way to connect with audiences in other forums beyond advertising. Businesses now use storytelling in presentations and meetings and also as a way to present research or motivate employees.
Today, social media has pushed communicators towards being “more authentic and transparent and personal.” Storytelling is part of this shift: at its core a great story engages the emotions recreating an experience for the audience, your clients.
“When you begin to talk in stories, your black-and-white words turn into color. Your drab requests turn into a mission. People find you to be more compelling. And once that happens, others will see that stories work, and they’ll start telling stories, too.” Annette Simmons
Our storytelling ability is a a uniquely human trait, has been with us nearly as long as we’ve been able to speak. Whether it evolved for a particular purpose or was simply an outgrowth of our explosion in cognitive development, story is an inextricable part of our DNA. Across time and across cultures, stories have proved their worth not just as works of art or entertaining asides, but as agents of personal transformation.
For decades, at the Human Performance Institute, Loehr has been examining the power of story to increase engagement and productivity, and Fortune 500 companies have paid millions to send employees to his program. Global business leaders, world-class athletes, military special forces, and thousands of individuals from every walk of life have sought out and benefited from his life-altering insight and expertise.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your business and personal life.
“The ability to articulate your story or that of your company is crucial to almost every phase of enterprise management. It works all along the business food chain.
A great salesperson knows how to tell a story in which the product is the hero.
A successful line manager can rally the team to extraordinary efforts through a story that shows how short-term sacrifice leads to long-term success.
An effective CEO uses an emotional narrative about the company’s mission to attract investors and partners, to set lofty goals, and to inspire employees.
Sometimes a well-crafted story can even transform a seemingly hopeless situation into an unexpected triumph.” Peter Guber
Inspiring Your Audience
Researchers have found that most decision-making, including in business, is driven by our emotions. Stories offer a powerful way to engage those emotions, and thereby inspire decision-making.”
We like to believe we are logical, but in fact we use data and facts to post-rationalize the decisions our emotions have already driven us to make.”
Almost any presentation or form of marketing can be transformed into a story, and indeed it is a powerful way to connect with our clients and prospective clients.
For example, rather taking than clients through why a particular business is better than its competitor with lots of revenue data and such, imagine telling a story about the business itself and who it benefits, about the way a product or service can make life better in the future, or about particular challenges and defining moments (there’s where you can insert the first big revenue point) that ultimately punctuate the brand values, the people and the culture.
The same can be said of presenting a new product or campaign. By taking a client through the team’s journey to the “big idea” or product, by sharing the set-backs, wrong turns and successes along the way, a presenter can be far more inspiring and persuasive than by showing a series of boring bulleted slides describing the product.
Through the power of story the audience can identify with the presenter’s struggles and see why certain ideas or choices were discarded en route to the ultimate idea or final product.
Make it Memorable
Stories create “stickiness.” With all the competing information and media channels, communicators are challenged to find ways to connect and be more memorable with their audiences.
Retention of information increases as the audience is drawn into the narrative of a story.
Root your story in a specific time and place. Then weave that story by answering the important questions…the who, what where, why and when.
Your story must also include an event that “upsets the apple cart” and changes the way the main character or characters see the world and therefore behaves.
Still not convinced? Think back to the last meeting or presentation you attended – were you inspired? Was it memorable? Or were you checking your email?
Finally consider some of the most inspiring and memorable presenters of our time. Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”
— a lecture initially to be delivered to an audience of 400 — went on to inspire millions and teach many valuable lessons.
Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford
has been seen by millions. Both used storytelling to capture their audience; years later they are still inspiring people to “stay hungry, stay foolish” and “pursue their childhood dreams.”
Story with a twist…
Not only have many of our clients developed the art of storytelling and have taken that gift and transformed it into a book that serves as their calling card.
Imagine if you would, handing a prospective client a copy of your book. In that book you skillfully used the power of story to showcase your expertise, your knowledge of the subject matter you were teaching…or selling.
If you are a coach or a consultant, sending your book as a precursor to your coaching arrangement is a powerful way to increase the know, like and trust factor that becomes the reason they chose YOU.
Are you a speaker? Imagine the long range impact of back of the room sales from the book that further augments your subject matter…one that weaves the art of story into a memorable connection.
If you are not just curious, but truly interested in using the power of story woven into a book as a tool to spotlight your business and know it is your time to shine as the expert that you are…then book a FREE – No Obligation 30 minute Discovery Session with us!