Storytelling: Get to the point not bullet point!

If I tell a story I am almost certain my boss will say, ” Get to the point”. If this is you. Then, this blog is for you.

In one of my previous blog Storytelling: Get to the point ! I have covered 3 tips on communicating with bosses.

Here is one more tip on getting to the point with stories 

Firstly, you need to be very clear about what exactly is the point of your communication with your boss.

Lets say the point is, ” Our retail experience needs to be better”

Here is how you would usually communicate  your idea/ information

We need to make our retail experience better so that

we are relevant

we have good customer experience which is fast and easy

our profit increases

This is exactly where the problem lies.. these bullet points are distilled information which falls on deaf ears because they are common sense and don’t speak to anyone. Yes, not even the bosses.

The bosses may say, “Get to the point but what they are really telling you is to be articulate and give them the information they should know. However, we think they want bullet points. Sorry, but bullet points are not the points they are looking for.

Now, if you gave an example which represents that we are not relevant and our retail experience is not good which is leading to market share drifting towards competitors that would be a better way.

Here is an example of how an oil and gas professional communicated the same point using an example

Let me explain why our retail experience needs to be better

I bought a diesel car recently. So, I researched which is the best diesel and I was thrilled my research informed me that it was our diesel.

A few weeks later, when I reached the petrol station to refuel, I was informed there is no stock of diesel.

So, I drove up to the next station which belonged to our competitor brand . I refuelled the car and as I was driving out I thought what a seamless experience that was, I got the diesel and paid within a min ,without having to think too much.

Now, if I had gone to our brand and they had the stock, I would have had to enter my language choice and then pay, which would have taken me longer then a min and I couldn’t have called it an easy and fast experience.

To ensure that I was not just using my personal experience to form my views I called a friend and  asked him,” where do you get fuel”? He straight away responded that his choice is our competitor brand. I asked him why? He said, ” I ride a motor bike, filling a motor bike tank is a very fast process since I don’t even have to get off my bike but if I go to your petrol station the refuelling  take less than a min and paying process takes 10 mins because I have to get off my bike, enter my language selection and then pay. So, give me one reason why you think I should go to your brand? 

I further gathered data on what exactly was going on by conducting surveys and analysed the data gathered  which revealed that we have XX% of revenue lost every day because our retail experience is neither fast nor easy.

In summary,

1. An example provides a context to your point

2. I suggest when speaking to bosses you share an example not a story. In case we have left you wondering what is the difference between a story and an example our next blog will cover that.

3. You do not use the word story.

4. You ensure you start with a point and end with the point.

5. Your example is only a demonstration of a bigger problem you are trying to solve. So, supporting it with right data to showcase the scale of the problem works well. In the above example the survey and XX% market share was important to make the bosses understand that the problem is big.

(Photo Credit: Found Animals Foundation/Flickr)


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