Business Storytelling: Tech Talk About Connections But Lacks a Human Connection

A couple of weeks ago I worked with a leading technology company on Business Storytelling. I gave a 90 min talk in which I shared some basic principles of Business Storytelling. After my talk the audiences had to take an existing case study they had and convert that in to a story.

I heard story after story. Despite an amazing effort by the participants none of the story stuck.

Why?

Because most people find storytelling simple and yes it is simple but it is not easy.

I have noticed that most Tech Talks talk about connection but lack a connection and that is precisely where the effort by the engineers missed the mark.

Connection happens when you see past the details of technology to its human consequences.

In an effort to ensure I decode the point I am trying to make. I decided to decode an IOT presentation.

After a lot of online research I can confidently say, this presentation by Scott Hanselman is the best presentation I have found on IOT so far .

In this blog I will decode the first 5 mins of this talk.

 

00.16 MAKING A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THE TOPIC :

The speaker did not do the usual, Good Morning, So glad to be here etc at the start of the presentation.

He started with bringing relevance to the topic, IOT in this case and that too in a very personal way. Talking about being diabetic and what role IOT has to play in his life. He made a personal connection with the topic.

1:10 SHOW SOMETHING TANGIBLE :

He is showing people something tangible. Bill Gates did this very successfully in a TED Talk he gave. To make a point that there is no reason why only poor people should get malaria he releases a jar of mosquitos in the room. Scott also instills emotion in the room by making the audience witness how his blood sugar levels are increasing because of stress.

1: 24 WHAT IS CREATING CONFUSION IN AUDIENCE’S MIND:

Scott is addressing things that people think IOT is. He says, when people think IOT they think Fitbit…  Steve Jobs used the same strategy whilst launching i Cloud where he says, ” some people think i Cloud is just a hard disk in the sky.

2:49 ALIGNING WITH WHAT IS GOING ON IN AUDIENCE’S MIND 

At this stage after looking all the icons, coding etc most likely your audience would start loosing interest in you and that is exactly when Scott says, ” this is crazy, what are all these people doing all these things’? He is constantly aligning with the audiences mind.

One of Storyteller’s biggest secrete is to know what is going on in audience’s mind at all times and address it.

Scott at this stage brings out the easy visual to explain what he is trying to establish and overcome an objection that audiences are developing.

3:48 SHOW, DON’T TELL 

He is showing not telling people the benefit of IOT. Scott avoids giving logic in isolation and makes content human by showing people the effect of stress on his blood sugar and how IOT helps him be aware if. A lot of people at this stage would think, ” oh you can manuplate this by having a chocolate or orange juice and he addresses that issue too.

4.21 INSTILLING EMOTIONS

He is surprising audiences  by showing them what is happening and how the gadget is notifying him of what is happening. This is a great way to instill an emotion in people because logically you could have just said, this gadget also notifies you of your blood sugar rising.

What are the key takeaways?

Start by creating a personal connection to audience or topic or both
Create a contrast by showing boring stuff and move to interesting stuff. People understand the difference you are trying to make
Address what you think is likely going on in audience’s mind
Don’t give logic and reason alone. Infuse logic and reason with emotion
Create surprise for audiences

IOT, Cloud Services and AI presentations are Blah Blah Blah for audiences because the teller is so busy telling that he doesn’t make an effort to recognise if audience is understanding.

Tech Talk is about connections but lacks a human connection

I will be decoding the next 5 mins of this presentation in my next blog.

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