One of the world’s leading cognitive neuroscientists and psychologists, Michael Gazzaniga, has researched the way our brains process stories. Because our brains desire narrative continuity, we are drawn to stories – they resonate with people because of how the human brain functions.
Whether you are selling something, seeking to attract a JV partner or an amazing new employee, or creating an opportunity… do you just go straight into the nuts and bolts of things? If so, you are bypassing an opportunity to truly draw people in and create a dialog that takes down any wall that may be blocking you.
For example, I begin by sharing my story about how Showcasing Women came to be… and how Angela and I met and became partners. I briefly talk about my early days as an entrepreneur in a man’s world, and how brutal it was. I share some of the things I’ve encountered that drove me to create a business to support women with confidence and business-building tools. I then briefly touch on my goals for the company and the women we serve.
Because I share some pretty “spicy” stories, people will openly engage with me. Their walls come down quickly, the comfort and trust starts building immediately, and the rest falls into place quite nicely. My “story” gives people a reason to care about Showcasing Women, and they can relate to its purpose.
But it’s not just simple storytelling that will increase your sales and/or results. As Gazzaniga noted, simply appealing to the heart isn’t going to cut it because both a left-brained and right-brained approach is required. With that in mind, below are five practical tips to help you get your storytelling mojo cranking for results!
Your storytelling has to be genuine and concise – don’t go overboard. Don’t talk so long that people’s eyes start glossing over. You don’t need to compete with a well-known business person who has a story worthy of making a movie out of it. Use your strengths, back up with hard data if it’s relevant, and follow things up with a viable business proposition. Make it all come alive. Draw people in with your truth and passion.
The Beginning, Middle, and End
Short and sweet. Paint the picture with one quick sweep. What started the whole thing (business, product idea, service, etc.)? Then what happened? And now here you are today… (fill in the blank)! Make it flow. Take people on a mini-journey with your story.
Storytelling Isn’t A One-Way Street
Interact and engage your prospect or audience. Get them responding with a quick question or comment throughout your storytelling that allows them to connect with you and relate to what you are sharing. For example, I may say, “I was a woman in a man’s world of hardcore fundraising for my business… can you imagine the things I encountered?” And of course, that opens an engaged dialog.
Another tip to make your business a complete success. Suzanne has sone awesome advice here. “This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”