Storytelling : Get to the point!

This blog is for those people who have tried telling a business story which is practical and logical but still got told, ” Can you please get to the point”.

We can avoid falling in such a situation.

How ? 

Lets understand this with an example.

Last week I was working with a senior business leader from the oil and gas sector who had come up with an amazing idea to save costs. He will be presenting this idea to his big bosses who, at the end of his presentation, will decide whether the idea will be funded or not. We had done all the preparation and gathered a few of his colleagues to rehearse. We had asked his colleagues to be difficult audiences. So, we started and after the first 1.5 min we had someone from the audience stand up and say, ” Get to the point”

What happened here?

The storyteller who was presenting his idea had straight dashed in to storytelling. He should have kept in mind the following 2 things

Tip #1 : You start your story by stating your point first which could be like

An investment of $2,000 can make us $200,000.

The presenter forgot to do that and that left the audience scratching their heads and wondering why they were listening to his personal experiences.

I then asked a few others in the audience, what was going through your mind whilst listening to the presenter and one of the audience said, ” How long would this take?”

Tip #2 : When talking to senior stake holders who are usually time pressed. Its a good idea to say things like

In the next 3 mins I want to share an experience that …

As a general rule your story should only be 2-3 mins long.

Tip #3 : The choice of words that you use matters a lot. My personal experience informs that when you are telling a story to senior management, if you can use words which convey, productivity, growth, efficiency and ROI, your chances of being heard are higher.

These are 3 simple tips that have helped me a lot in escaping that moment when I am telling a story and the bosses say, ” Get to the point ”

 

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