Growing up, I loved to watch CHiPs. It was the same show week after week, but I watched each one. Probably because when the story started to drag, they would cut to a car chase.
Our last two blogs explored focusing on your customer’s story. This principle is so important that it is hard to overstate it, but there is another place where stories play a critical role in our work. Meetings and Presentations.
I have delivered over a thousand stage presentations in my career.
When you speak that much, you feel when an audience is losing interest. They are looking at their phones. They are fidgeting in their chairs. They are counting the lights in the ceiling.
You also get a feel for what captures their attention. It’s not facts. It’s not figures. It’s not yelling and screaming. It’s telling a story.
We are wired to resonate with stories. If you are sitting around a campfire, you tell stories, not facts.
The next time you are preparing for a meeting or presentation, and you feel that it’s going to be boring, ask yourself:
- Is there a story that says this better than figures?
- Am I taking too long to say this? (Do I need to “cut to the chase”?)
- After my story, do I have a summary sentence that ties it to the facts and figures?
Answering these questions can add life to your meetings and your presentations!
Thanks for being a leader worth following,
Director of Content & Product Strategy