During my 35-year advertising career, I rarely had to convince clients that their messages had to be emotionally engaging in order for persuasion to take place. During any given commercial shoot, an inordinate amount of time was spent discussing and debating how to turn a 30-second commercial into an evocative story. The actors had to look the part. Their lines had to be delivered with just the right inflection. And the beer pour had to be just long enough to generate thirst appeal. It wasn’t unusual to go through 20 takes before getting the “feeling” just right.
Cut to the typical conference room. This is where many of those same clients would give oral presentations or conduct meetings with their people. This is also where achieving the same kind of emotional engagement they wanted in their commercials would take a back seat to a logical ordering of cold, hard (and often dry) facts.
Clearly, facts are important to ensure sound business decisions. But without some emotional benefit for doing what those facts prescribe, one’s ability to galvanize an audience is severely limited.
Having spent my entire career crafting persuasive messages for mass audiences, I created Story-Lab to help people more effectively influence, inspire and motivate live audiences. Today, we are helping managers, leaders, salespeople and change agents of all sorts give facts and data the heart beat they need in order to motivate audiences to take action. Through role-playing exercises, workshop attendees experience first-hand how the appropriate use of storytelling in business settings can make a huge difference in the way audiences relate to them. And through our ongoing Deliberate Practice Program™, they are steadily advancing their skills.
The programs we teach and the tools we prescribe are now being used by progressive companies like Microsoft, IBM, Coca Cola, SAP, Capital One, Coldwell Banker and many others. Find out, much as they have, how you and your teams can tap into the persuasive power of storytelling to engage buyers, employees or students.