Everyone loves a good story, but how many of us are good at telling good stories? For the most part, I think we create exciting and stimulating stories about our personal lives. We certainly have a tremendous amount of material to serve as our database. We love to tell stories about our girlfriends, spouses or partners, children, grandchildren, neighbors (good and bad). And we have no problem adding emotional content and passion to our stories.
Stories are a great way to draw others in and influence their behavior, yet many of us hesitate to use the same emotions and passion in our storytelling when pitching ourselves and our businesses. As a result, the stories don’t have the impact that we desire to grab people’s attention and stimulate further conversation.
In a recent article in Fast Company, author Kaihan Krippendorf, talks about a workshop he attended on storytelling where he was told to “use lots of LOTS”.
Our facilitator, Gary Lyons, senior coach at The TAI Group, told us a story and had us dissect what we remembered. Do this, and you will realize your audience is often checked out, comatose, or unable to hear or remember what you are saying. The key to engage them is to use lots of “language of the senses,” or LOTS. When telling a story, share with us what you see, smell, feel, taste, and hear. When you trigger a sense in someone, you bring them into the story with you.
Think about your own story. What type of senses can you bring into your story to engage your audience?
See: How can you open someone’s eyes to “see” your value? What do they experience when they see your product, walk into your store, enter your office? What visual trigger will add to your story?
Smell: Perhaps your product or service can be best described by its scent. How can you add this to your story?
Feel: This is a great one! What does success feel like? How does someone feel when they use your product or service? What is the end result? People love to hear stories where they are transported to a new positive mindset. Take them there with you story. Is there a tactile aspect of your product? Is this something you can talk about?
Taste: “I’m so close to success, I can taste it.” We use the sense of taste figuratively and literally. If your product is edible, describe in great detail what the experience of tasting that product is all about. Yummm.
Hear: Another great sense to include in your story! People are talking about your services. There is a buzz that starts slowly and builds up to a feverish pitch. Colleagues and clients are standing up and cheering for you! YEAH! What do you hear?
Kaihan Krippendorf goes on to say about the workshop,
We close with a “before and after” exercise. One of our members gets up to practice a pitch; he is raising money for an energy tech venture. He starts speaking, but I just can’t follow. When he finishes, I realize I have not heard a word. Gary coaches him–lots of LOTS, story spine, look us in the eye, take us in–and the speaker tries again. Now it is all waterfalls of electricity pouring down the mountain, the opportunity to create something and break through with passion. I heard every word, and so much more.
Improve your ability to tell stories–about the company you are building, the project you are leading, the life you live, and will enroll people more completely and emotionally in your mission.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
We can purchase a great looking pair of jeans any where, but we are more likely to choose a popular brand that has some status and recognition. The advertisements tell us we will be more attractive and appealing in these jeans and we believe it. We pay more money even if we can’t afford it, for the opportunity to wear these status symbols.
So what’s this all about?
It’s all about the emotional connection. The advertisers create an emotional benefit for you when you purchase and use their products; a big juicy payoff. You will be more attractive, sexy, respected, admired, etc. That’s the big payoff; not the specific features of the products themselves.
As entrepreneurs, we often make the mistake of focusing on the features and details of our products and services instead of the big emotional payoff. We don’t make the emotional connection between what we offer and what our customers need.
Think about your target audience. What is their need or their pain, and how does your product or service fulfill their need?
Making this emotional connection is the most powerful way to promote your business. Identify the big juicy payoff or emotional benefit and clearly communicate that to your prospects. You will grab their attention and win their business.
There can be a big payoff for you in more clients, more referrals and more money!
I’ve designed a 90-Day Intensive Program for Entrepreneurs that starts January 20th for entrepreneurs who are challenged promoting themselves and their business.
Is this you? Do you have a pitch that falls flat and doesn’t get you new clients? Do you freeze when asked to promote yourself at a networking event?
Start 2011 off with a big bang and learn how to overcome your barriers to self promotion, create a powerful message to attract more clients and business than you thought possible AND if you register before January 1st, you receive a special $700 discount.
Also, a very special bonus gift for the first 3 women to sign up: a FREE 60-minute consultation with PR expert, Lisa Elia, who will help you plan how to increase your visibility in 2011. This consultation is worth $500!!!
Check out the program now and invest in yourself and your business. Imagine feeling confident and comfortable selling your services! Register now and take advantage of the special discount and gifts.
Is your pitch falling flat? When people ask you what you do, do you stammer and stumble on your words? Or do you have a pitch but no one seems to connect with it; it doesn’t seem effective or memorable? Today’s show will give you coaching tips on how to create a great message. Three entrepreneurs are on the show today, Stefanie Muscat, Angela Wyant and Lael Couper Jepson. They will go through the coaching process with me to illustrate to all of you how you can create your own great message.
Joining me will be three women entrepreneurs: Lael Couper Jepson, Angela Wyant, and Stefanie Muscat.
How often have you been at a networking event or business gathering and someone asks you, “What do you do?”. Panic sets in as you try to remember your Elevator Pitch and it’s specific formula to answer the question about what you do. You break out in a sweat as you stumble through the arbitrary pitch. Frustrated, you leave that conversation thinking, “Oh my goodness. I just sounded like a fool”.