“Tell me a story” is a phrase you hear a lot as a parent. When the kids don’t want to go right to bed, they’ll use it to stall. When they are feeling anxious, they’ll use it to gain some calming certainty. Stories predate written history and telling them is an art form. We all know a few great jokes (many of which aren’t for this space in my case…). Told well, those can be great stories. When you set a great story to music, you have a great song.
Think of the songs you know that are timeless and I guarantee you that a story is involved. Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue“. Springsteen’s “Rosalita” (no one said they had to be quiet stories!). “Arlen and Mercer’s “One For My Baby“. Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken.” Every one of them has a great melody but what really sucks us in and keeps us singing them is the story each one tells. Heartbreak to humor, they have a tale that brings out human emotion. In my mind, I can see the bar at the Commodore Hotel. I hear all the guys, her past conquests, singing along. This is what you need to be thinking about as you explain your business to prospects, current clients, or just a guy on the golf course. How can I tell a story?
We’ve all sat through too many presentations that leave us bored and sleepy. They tell us a lot of information but don’t tell a story that moves us. No one is going to be re-telling your story since you gave them nothing.
So what’s your story and how are you telling it? What’s your song? Am I going to be singing it over and over years from now or is it the airy sponge cake of the one hit pop wonder that vanishes after a single hearing? I’m listening!