Do you have a story? Is it well thought out and ready to go? Is it practiced, polished and perfected? Have you wondered what happens at a Toastmasters group? Never heard of Toastmasters, but you’d like to be able to captivate a crowd? This is the book for you.
52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #31 – Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire by Paul Smith
I’m not an outgoing person yet, I frequently am called on to speak in front of groups. I need to give presentations, speeches, motivational messages, heartwarming calls to action and convey very straightforward information without putting the audience to sleep. I’m also in sales and I’m a leader. This means I take groups out to award dinners, outings and work functions like mixers. I also talk to customers, both internal and external and I have to often find a way to make the mundane interesting, or to convey complicated financial information over the phone in a way that makes sense and spurs action. I have learned to do this in part because of the principals in this book, plus I just winged it.
On a grander scale, your story or your companies story can be crafted in a way that can be told in one of these encounters. Your Story is the reason you are in business, it’s what brought you, your business or company into being and it’s what made you, You. There is a formula to crafting a story and keeping attention. I wish I had read this book sooner, I had to use trial and error over the years and even then this book probably doubled my Story I.Q. and made me that much better. You can use the ideas, methods, and suggestions in this book to increase sales, increase your employee buy-in, boost morale and raise your visibility in all social settings. Good story tellers are remembered and identified with. Great opportunity often arrives from people we are barely acquainted with, but through the power of a story a connection was made and you became memorable.
This all boils down to communication. I’ve said before that I now hire communication students and look for strong communication skills from employees and colleagues. How a message is percieved is how you are percieved. Can you craft a message that is received by a large audience and in a way that motives, inspires or impacts them all? Can you also communicate in a 1:1 setting or a small group and get the same response? It’s a tall order, but those that can deliver are coveted.