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Storyselling

25 April 2012

I attended a networking group last Friday at the ungodly hour of 7am. Every week one person gets up and presents his business to the group for ten minutes. Last week it was the turn of the group’s IT business consultant. Normally people stand up with the usual laptop and Powerpoint slides. Unfortunately his laptop had been stolen from his car so he had to “busk” the session.

He explained that the loss of his computer was no big deal for him. He had saved his files to a cloud based server, his data was encrypted etc. He just had to buy a new laptop and upload the files. He contrasted his position with that of a client who experienced the total IT nightmare. They had inadvertently not been backing up their data properly. When it came to restore their files after a system crash they were left with nothing –  blank files, no accounts history, no client records, no debtor information.

The IT man went on to explain the lengths he went to to restore the system. He explained that 80% of businesses who lose their data go out of business within 12 months. In summary he succeeded in scaring the bejaysus out of eveyone and we all ran out of the room at 8.30 to check our backup systems. We also knew exactly who we were going to call to help us with our IT problems from now on.

It occurred to me at the end of the meeting that the presentation would not have been as good with the laptop and Powerpoint. The story was so engaging, so memorable, so dramatic, so powerful.

It is worth considering what stories you could tell to demonstrate the value of what you do. Think of the problems your potential client faces. Tell them a story of how you solved a similar problem. They will be engaged because it is 100% relevant to them. It takes time and practice to become a great Storyseller but  the impact over and above standard Powerpoint presentations is absolutely compelling.