“If history were taught as stories, it’d never be forgotten” said Rudyard Kipling, which seemed a fitting opening statement for a talk entitled: ‘Stories Sell’. As a stand-in for the scheduled speaker at my monthly networking event, I’d had little time to prepare, and I wasn’t convinced it was going to be the best talk I’d ever given.
I knew there was no point in trying to memorise a script, so I decided to string some stories together, and use some of them to illustrate the point I was attempting to make: that stories sell better than facts. I started with some stories about my love of stories, and then I chose three people from the audience who’ve used stories as part of their ‘two minutes’ at the networking event, and retold their stories. All three stories were ones I’d heard them tell over a year ago, so I was able to illustrate the potency of storytelling.
I ended the talk by taking the audience through the process for constructing a ‘Client Success Story’; if you don’t want to broadcast for the full time of a talk, throw in a practical exercise 🙂 And that was that. Some questions, and the usual polite applause. Followed by some lovely comments.
I haven’t always found that my talks have had much in the way of longevity, so while I made sure that I could attend the next event, I didn’t expect there to be much follow up: a month is a long time in business, after all. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Someone told me the story of a colleague who’d been nervous about making a presentation, until she’d advised him to tell a story. A lovely gentleman at my table told the story of how he’d gone to the Aberdeen event shortly after my talk, explained what I’d illustrated, and told a story about one of his clients. After that, everyone else at the table followed suit and told a story! He made my week!! It seemed that everywhere I went, people were talking about using stories to grow their business.
So while I bang on here about telling stories, and wondering if anyone is really that interested, I know that storytelling has value. I know that it’s great for business. And I know that it’s perfect for helping people to remember who you are and what you do. So I’ll keep writing about it. And maybe, every now and again, I’ll leave my computer and talk about it too. 🙂