Think back to a time where you were at a training or a networking event, somewhere where you were the audience. Do you have a memory of being bored brainless by data?
Or do you remember the presenter that kept you captivated? I remember a presenter at a conference who used one overhead slide and kept us all mesmerised for 55 minutes on sales attributes, a subject plagued by statistics yet not one statistic was mentioned. It was 55 minutes of stories.
Some of us are the data geeks we need some of the facts to make our decisions, so cloak them in stories. Great and good stories work because they are easy to remember and share. Who doesn’t love a good story?
Interesting stories engage the listener or the reader. Remember, our customer and client engagement is now multi - channelled. Think, various social media platforms, face to face, written work brochures and handouts.
This also means our customers and clients are well informed and generally have researched many facts before they get to us. Human beings are natural story tellers, as young children who didn’t sit there and listen to endless stories of childhood favourites.
I still to this day remember stories from my childhood. “The brain, it seems does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case the same neurological regions are stimulated. When someone describes a kicking ball, our motor cortex lights up. When someone describes a singer as having a ‘velvety voice’ our sensory cortex lights up, and so on.” Says Annie Murphy Paul from Articulate. “So when we listen to a bunch of bullet points, we hear a load of language. When we listen to a story, we live it.” Now, think about your product or service, would you prefer your prospect to hear a load of language or would you want them to live it?
Live it and re-tell it. How could you develop a story about your product or service? Do you have testimonials? Do you have someone else’s story you could use until you have your own?