Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tell me a story friend!

One of the keys to adoption of new innovations is the story we tell people about the need and the solution. The ability to share the story in a convincing way is absolutely critical and this is one area where we often make a pretty big mess.

Have you been to a seminar where the presenter is trying to convince you of a need for a new solution but completely looses you in the explanation. I was in one recently (I'm not saying who or where :) ). He hooked the group in the plenary by challenging those who saw the problem to meet in a smaller room after the main session. But then we went there and immediately got lost in details, numbers and definitions. By the end we forgot why we were there.

In the Heath brother's latest blog post on "making it stick" they talk about the importance of explaining statistics in clear and understandable ways. Take a minute to read their thoughts. The key is the story that you build. But you've probably heard that and it doesn't necessarily give you a next step when you go to explain your next cool idea to the world.

So here we go, let me give you an outline that will help you build the story around your innovation:

A. Start with the need
  • Don't start with facts
  • Share a story that depicts the need in a very human and tangible way.
  • One example is if you are sharing about an innovation in clean water technology, show a glass of dirty water and explain what might be in it and how many people drink water just like that in a given day.

B. Share how you fit in
  • People want a human element
  • Share about your journey (quickly)
  • Explain the spiritual element and your response

C. Explain the facts
  • Using the Heath brother's example, build a story with the facts that bring them to life
  • Take your top 10 facts and ruthlessly eliminate all but 3 to share

D. Present your solution
  • Take out all the jargon / industry speak
  • Give the reasons why your innovation is key to meeting the need
  • Provide clear outcomes of what will happen if you are to succeed
  • Share endorsements of trusted people who believe that this solution will work

Ok, now it's your turn. Take this outline and insert your need, journey, facts and solution. Post your specific outline in the comments of this blog and we can all encourage each other in our communication.

1 comment:

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