Wednesday 29 February 2012

Meeting the challenge of communicating our difference - part three Guest post by Colin Pearce

This a guest post from my friend Colin Pearce.

I have learned much about storytelling from observing and conversing with Colin, a master storyteller, over many years.

I also subscribe to Colin's Kick in the pants newsletter where this post comes from.

I recommend you sign-up too!

"I mentioned bricks and clicks last week and it struck home to many readers. You agreed that you and your customers are overwhelmed with buying options and we business people are all looking for the magic 'cut-through' that will get us our share of business.

It's storytelling. 

Not signage, Facebook ads, snappier uniforms, cheaper prices, Google Adwords, glossier brochures, heavier email campaigns. 

Just story.

We are genetically wired for story.

If you are still locked in the nursery and think that story telling is for toddlers and Play School presenters, you are so messed up I probably can't help you. If you think that facts, data and stats are the primary means of persuasion, you are on a hiding to nothing. Humans are story machines. From the first stories we tell in the high chair – 'Finished' – to the yarns we spin the boss when we fail to make our sales quota, we are story tellers.

In 2001 Professor Anthony Monaco and his team at Oxford isolated the gene FOXP2,  a gene animals don't have in the same construction. It is thought to be the front runner on the collection of genes that enable humans to speak with coherence and precision – i.e. to tell stories. Neanderthals even had it!

A story is –
For me, a story is any account related with emotion that alters someone's state of being and compels them to respond.

Be the storyteller you are designed to be.

Story telling is part of your destiny. It's one of the factors that make you a human. Stories don't just work in the Box Office. They work in the customer's office. They can be visual or verbal. They can be short or long, but they must place the customer in centre stage and create an emotional scene showing him or her how life will be richer, happier or easier with the product or service you provide." 

I highly recommend Colin's double CD set, Tell 'em a Story. You can get it here.
Telling stories well is a key to meeting the challenge of communicating our difference.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

Telling great stories is a great place to start.


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