There is an old saying that facts tell, but stories sell. Its with this in mind that I attended the Manchester Speakeasy Group ran by Andrew Thorp of Mojolife Limited. Andrew specialises in coaching individuals and organisations in terms of crafting a compelling story that engages their audiences and that ultimately brings results. Speakeasy Groups are made up of SME business owners who meet monthly.
At each meeting four members will present their story or presentation and the group of upto 20 (in a supportive environment) provides a critique both in terms of style, message and delivery. Its a very useful tool as most presenters are never really given honest feedback on their presentations and delivery. In sales and business development it would be an absolute travesty to spend a great deal of time getting to speak to your ideal client/customer only to then lose the business because your message was somehow not conveyed as well as it could be.
Members not only get the opportunity to test drive their ideas and present them but they also get the opportunity to receive 1:1 coaching from Andrew through the period of membership. At todays meeting however, there was a particular strong group made up of other professionals from Health & Safety, HR and Construction amongst others.
There was a real supportive energy about the room as we all congregated in the Virgin Money Showrooms on Kings Street in Manchester. The power of storytelling is fast being acknowledged as paramount in the business world and I completely understand why. People are no longer interested in presentations and talks – they want to hear stories – stories that they can relate to and that can get the message across. In what Seth Godin refers to as the ‘connection age’ people crave connection and stories do just that. They connect, they engage and they persuade. If you are not using stories or story telling in your presentations then you are missing out on making valuable connections with your audiences and therefore potentially missing out on results.
So with this in mind, what is your story? Why is it you do what you do and how can you better convey this to your audience?