I was invited to be a guest at a networking lunch recently. I had been to these networking groups before and as I drove into town that day I composed the commercial that I would speak to the group to introduce myself and my business. I thought I was going to have 60 seconds but there were so many people that this turned out to be 30 seconds.
Something had to go in my spiel and the challenge to stand out among the crowd was even more intense. The one thing I didn’t cut was my lead. Here’s what I said:
“The last time I was in this building, I won a 65 inch TV.”
What do you think the reaction was? I heard gasps, a sucking in of air sound from around the room. The important thing was that there WAS a reaction and it was an emotional one. This reaction would be wasted if it wasn’t tied to a business message, so the rest of my commercial contrasted the luck of being in the right place at the right time, with how I use strategy to help small businesses show up at the right place, at the right time, with the right message.
Thirty seconds doesn’t give you much time to be memorable, but what I did was to use a story to give myself a tag. The idea is that when someone in the group hears of a need for a marketing consultant, that they can pull up this tag.
“Oh, you should call that marketing woman. You know, that one who won the big screen TV. What’s her name? Lori Creighton.”
For this occasion, I had a great story to share that just happened to coincide with the location of the meeting. If you’re saying to yourself that nothing like that ever happens to you and you don’t have any good stories, then either you haven’t really thought of the stories that you have to tell, or you are really boring. (Sorry. If the shoe fits…)
Storytelling is the way that we connect with people to be memorable, to nurture understanding and to change beliefs and behaviors. It can be taught. You can learn.
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I just did it again. I tied a story to a business message.
By the way, I really did win a big screen TV at the June Greater Mankato Growth Business After Hours at the Kato Ballroom. I wish I had a picture of my face when they called my name. Thanks again KEYC TV!