At a recent Mandel leadership team meeting, my dear friend Patricia Bourne (our VP of Finance & Operations) shared that she'd listened to an NPR TED Radio Hour broadcast called Framing the Story and found it to be very insightful and entertaining. I just finished listening to the podcast and couldn't agree more.
During the podcast, NPR interviews Pixar’s Andrew Stanton. He wrote the iconic Toy Story series and Monsters Inc. Plus, Stanton wrote and directed WALL-E, A Bug’s Life, and Finding Nemo. Each film enjoyed global commercial success and universal critical acclaim, arguably making Stanton one the great storytellers of this century.
Stanton's insights are helpful to any business person who grasps the power of a well-told story. Here are three, taken almost word for word from the podcast, that I think are of particular value to anyone who uses stories to influence, educate, and/or motivate others.
1. Storytelling is joke telling.
It’s about knowing your punchline, your ending. It's about knowing that everything you’re saying, from the first sentence to the last, is leading to a singular goal—deepening your listener’s understanding of and belief in what’s being discussed. Stanton cites this quote from British playwright William Archer as particularly helpful when learning how to create good stories: “Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty.”
2. Make me care.
Stanton calls this “The greatest story commandment.” Humans are always searching for stories that make us care emotionally, intellectually, and/or aesthetically. He explains that we all know what it’s like to not care—like the frustration we feel when clicking through hundreds of channels, desperately looking for something on television worth caring about.
But, when your audience can connect emotionally to what you're saying, they're much more apt to remember what you've said and to take action because of it. For more on this, check out my video on The Power of Storytelling.
3. Use what you know.
At the emotional peak of the podcast, Stanton describes this as the first story lesson he ever learned. It’s clear that he strongly believes in using what you know and drawing from it. In other words, capture a truth from your own experience and let that truth drive your story.
Check out the entire podcast for yourself. It’s fun and chock full of useful storytelling nuggets. I'd also encourage you to check out Stanton's TED Talk: The Clues to a Great Story.
Do your employees know how to use storytelling to bring their ideas and recommendations to life? Help them learn how. Contact us today.
What does the hit on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit tell us about how to sell in a virtual setting? Actually, something very important.
Before we break down how this show teaches us the key to virtual selling let’s look at the backstory.
If your 2020 user conference plans were impacted by the pandemic, you’re not alone. And if, like many, you’ve chosen to move forward by converting to a virtual conference, you’ll be relying more than ever on your speakers’ skills. Share these 8 tips with your virtual conference speakers to help them prepare to impress.
It happened fast. One day you were meeting with your colleagues at the office. The next day you and everyone you work with are working in remote isolation from home. Whether you’re new to working remotely or an experienced veteran, we all need to raise our virtual collaboration game to not only make this new reality work, but to make it work really well. Read on to discover seven practical, high impact tactics you can implement right now to ensure the success of your virtual meetings.
Learn how making a few smart, yet simple, changes to your email can improve your odds of quickly getting the response you need.
Learn Mandel’s 3-step model for skillfully responding — not reacting — to tough questions with confidence and ease.
What inspires and motivates people to action? Here’s a hint: it’s not a PowerPoint deck filled with data points and analytics. Learning how to share a powerful story can positively influence others and help your ideas become memorable. Perhaps you need to promote a new idea or close that crucial sale. Learn how some of the most successful business ventures today got their start from sharing a powerful story and how you can make your own narrative work for you.
Memory almost full. Imagine that warning flashing brightly on the forehead of every audience member. A successful presentation isn’t just about the speaker’s dynamic energy or their confident manner in front of an audience. Without compelling, easy to follow content, it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are in the spotlight. You and your topic will quickly be forgotten. So how do you ensure lasting, memorable impact? Learn how to be remembered by leveraging the ancient, globally relevant, and scientifically proven rule of three to focus your content, motivate your listeners, and make your executive presence shine.
Have you ever encountered an unfriendly meeting participant while presenting? Maybe you know someone who constantly interrupts, asks aggressive questions, or worse, tries to take over your meeting. Believe it or not, you have more control over these conference room bullies than you think.
Learn how to recognize these strong personalities, the things you may be doing to trigger their behavior, and what you can do right now to strengthen your command of the room and feel more confident in front of any audience.
How many meetings have you gone to this week? Were they productive, or did they just create the need for more? Now think about how many meetings happen every day in your organization. Companies lose millions of dollars each year on wasted employee time in meetings and, as a result, employees become increasingly stressed and unhappy. Believe it or not, part of the problem is the meeting invitation. Learn how a simple, quick addition to your meeting invites can help you and your organization have consistent meeting success every time.
Listening is the most important communication skill. Why? Because nothing kills relationships or productivity faster than NOT listening. Communication barriers, like poor active listening, cost the average organization a staggering $62.4 million a year. Want to improve your team's listening skills? Want to become a better active listener yourself? Use these 4 steps to become a better active listener and start having more productive conversations with your colleagues and customers.
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- Welcome to the Future of Sales (Hint: It’s Virtual)
- Listen Closely: Your Company Culture Depends On It
- How to Deliver Impactful, Engaging Hybrid Meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!