As communicators we have our biases. If you are a bottom-line person, you love communicating your point. This feels both right and satisfying to you, but the problem is you risk losing half your audience: the flowery people. If you are a flowery person, you paint pictures every time you speak and while you appeal to the other flowery people in the room, you probably drive bottom-line people insane!
To be master communicators, we have to make sure our communication appeals to both types of people: it needs a clear point and it must paint a picture. Not easy to do! This might sound counterintuitive, but the quickest and easiest way to win over your entire audience is through a short story.
Imagine you’re a leader. You’re talking to your team (made up of both bottom-line and flowery people) about seeing opportunities where others might see none. You could share this story.
Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market opportunities. The first salesman reported back, “There is no opportunity here – nobody wears shoes.” The second salesman reported back, “There is massive opportunity here – nobody wears shoes!” If we see opportunities where our competitors don’t, imagine the difference we could make.
A short, purposeful story paints a picture and, if done well, it also makes a point. It’s a slam-dunk for both flowery and bottom-line people.
What are your thoughts? Please comment, I love hearing from you.
* Thanks to my mentor Robi Mack for her use of these terms.
Warning! This radical book is ONLY for presenters who want to achieve professional impact and business results. You don’t want to just present; you want to create an audience experience. With every presentation you want to transform people, organisations and what’s possible. This book is your first step.