the symmetry advantage

talking shop.

Talking Shop is produced by Symmetry, a boutique print shop that delivers the results you need, when you need them.

I Have A Story For You

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Have you ever sat through a presentation where the speaker went on and on about their specific product or service, where they inundated you with facts and figures and features galore but throughout it all not once did they reach you on a gut level.

That’s what storytelling can do and smart businesses are leveraging its power in their marketing and business development efforts.

The reasons are quite clear:

People respond to “storytelling” and for good reasons. Stories can:

  1. Grab our attention and create a bond between the storyteller and the audience
  2. Generate passion and commitment in a way that most advertising and marketing cannot accomplish.
  3. They incite action, promote commitment and overcome inertia.

Good stories need to be honest and communicate on a very personal level. You must set the stage, provide the action or specifics of the story and then of course have a conclusion. Stories are a dime a dozen however it is good stories that can help you to market and sell.

Here are some best practices to use in your own story telling endeavors:

Be unassuming, honest and sincere

No one likes a boaster yet there are folks that imbue their stories with frequent mentions of their own acumen, strength or daring-do! It not only takes away from the power of the story itself but it makes the audience skeptical and resistant to the points being raised. Be humble and win more attention.

Spark emotion

Not every story is a good story. Reflect upon the overall story that you wish to relate and if you objectively feel that it has the potential to spark interest and emotion. You can select stories about topics that strike a common thread at least for the audience to which the story will be presented either in writing or in a presentation or communicate stories that can appeal to almost everyone. Overcoming adversity and making the most out of a difficult situation, success and achievement, new innovations – these can all be the foundation for a good story.

Don’t drag it out

There’s an Uncle Fred in everyone’s family. He’s the much-loved Uncle that loved to tell stories at the holidays. They were good stories too and everyone was interested; well, to a point anyway. Uncle Fred had a tendency to drag out his stories, provide way too much detail and take much too long to get to the conclusion. Don’t be like Uncle Fred!

Practice your presentation skills

Public speaking evokes a tremendous amount of fear for many people and story telling can be the most difficult type of presentation of all. It’s personal, somewhat extemporaneous and may even cause the presenter to get emotional him or herself. As with any sort of presentation the key to success is practice and unfortunately there is really no shortcut. (People well known for their intense amount of practice BEFORE a presentation or performance: Steve Jobs, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Tony Robbins)

So step back and think about some of your personal situations, accomplishments and challenges. Are they the stuff of good stories? I’d love for you to share them with me and perhaps we can repurpose some of them here.

Symmetry. Because printing isn’t always black and white. 

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