Monday, March 8, 2010

How to Have People Interested in What You Are Saying For Once

A beginners-guide to using story to become more compelling when you speak. Whether you are trying to persuade your daughter to do her homework, or a customer to buy your product.

By Daniel Batten

By using the 3 tips below, you will pick up - a formula to tell people information about your product so they remember it and buy it. - a simple structure to give people facts in a presentation so they stay alert and interested. - a 3-part method you can use to sell ideas without people feeling like you are selling. For example, you can even sell to your teenager the facts about why s/he should do their homework. When applied, these tips will make what you say memorable, even if people currently don’t listen to what you say at all.

We humans have evolved to store information in our heads when its told in a story. Think of story like the supermarket shelf, and the information being the food. Imagine shopping in a supermarket with no shelves. That’s the way people feel listening to you when you give information without a story. No-one can resist a good story well told, The three tools below will show you how to make your stories interesting, so nobody gets bored and thinks they’d rather get shot in the face than listen to you. The first three rules below will get you started!

Tip 1: The “What’s the Point” Phrase.

Have you ever heard a story that went all over the place? - no beginning, middle or end? Perhaps it was you who was giving it? By using this next tool, you can stop this from happening ever again.

The secret is to use a “What’s the point” phrase. This phrase sums up the point in 10 words. If you don’t have a “What’s the point” phrase, you don’t have a story.

For example, if you are telling a story about how you locked yourself out of your apartment half-dressed’ ask yourself “What’s the point?” Is it - “Thinking ahead saves time” or - “We find creative solutions when we have no other choice” or - “Every problem has a solution?” or - “You can trust me. I’m prepared to tell a story that paints me in a less-than-glowing light!

Whatever you choose as your phrase, you then need to cut out anything (no matter how good) that doesn’t relate to that phrase.

Tip 2: Edit yourself.

You don’t have to have a pen and paper to edit. You can practice editing in your own head by asking yourself a couple of simple questions. See, most humans over-explain things. That’s because we care about what we are talking about. But they don’t… yet. Here’s how you make them care.

Every word should be treated as though it has a cost: don’t get charged “extra baggage” for every unnecessary word.

When it comes to people being interested in what you say: Remember: less is more. So rather than thinking “does this add more info” ask yourself “does this improve the power-to-weight ratio of my story”.

Stop worrying “how much information can I say” and start asking yourself “how much information will they remember?” By asking yourself these editing questions, you will start to speak in a way that others can remember, because you removed what wasn’t memorable before you opened your mouth.

Tip 3: Add spice.

What gives a story spice? Cool characters and delicious dialog right? Its very easy to create this yourself. Rather than say “I went to see my My General Manager and asked him to change some things about how he ran the company” say

That Thursday I saw my General Manager Graham Orphin - think Art Garfunkel with a moustache and English Accent. I said “Ummm, I have some ideas on what this company can do better” and then I listed them.“number one ...”.

Why is this so much more effective? Because it lets the person listening to you form a mental picture of the person, and the dialog allows them to relive your moment with you.

Doing this enhances their connection with you because they can connect to your story, and connection is the key for people being interested in what you say.

Everyone loves a good story-teller. Story profoundly improves business-results and definitely increases your market worth, making life more fun for you and those around you. There is more to it - but this is plenty for now: better to pinpoint the “low hanging fruit” than get overwhelmed and end up getting no fruit at all.

Daniel Batten makes products to help you succeed in your business/career by becoming a persuasive speaker, a compelling GenX leader, or an indispensible employee. Find out more about how to increase your market worth today by subscribing to his free newsletter, available at: =>

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