Did you know the best way to influence people is wrapping your message into a story?
It’s something I realised on AN unconscious level probably around 4 years of age.
In fact, in preschool I used to look forward to the afternoon around 2.45 because my teacher would get all the members of the class to sit down and read to us, books like “Jack and The Beanstalk”, “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Goldilocks and The Three Bears”.
My two favourites back then was “James and The Giant Peach” and “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” – both we’re turned into movies.
The love affair with story-telling goes back to the wonderful times spent at 33 Charles Rd, Small Heath in the east side of Birmingham, UK. Raised to prominence with the recent hit show the Peaky blinders…
Rituals 70’s through to the 90
Let me set the scene… On any given Sunday in the early 70s through to the early 90’s, I would go to visit my grandparents Mr Jarret Falconer Known to friends as Gee and My grandmother Constance Falconer affectionately called Connie.
It was a ritual to visit family most Sundays and have dinner, when it was Connie and Gee’s turn to host it wasn’t uncommon for Gee to be staggering in from church. Not traditional church, I mean the pub with possibly 10 -20 friends and relatives in tow.
Often on his return from the pub Connie plus all my female relatives would set the table in readiness for the main event, Sunday dinner “Jamaican style” (delicious). After the dinner was finished it was time for drinking and topical debates.
The men sat around the table discussing politics, economics, sports, in particular cricket and horses. Back then the West Indies we’re untouchable when it came to cricket.
The football pools, plus the racing post would be within arm’s length, Gee had a thing for horse racing and would go through his process of looking for doubles trebles and accumulators to place bets at the bookies to see if he could win wad of cash.
“Back A Yard”
But the most fascinating part of the day as a kid apart from playing with my cousins was listening to Gee and family member’s talk about back home meaning – the beautiful island of Jamaica.
They would reminisce for hours about their Childhood growing up in the parish of St Elizabeth, which is in the agricultural part of the country, in the southern point of the island. They would share stories about the culture, the music, the food, the politics and the colourful kinsman who were proper characters.
Anytime they spoke about back a yard stories, my mind would drift away imagining I was right there.
Story Telling Influence
I know some people detest selling, so the alternative is to change the word selling to storytelling and share stories of how your goods, products and services have benefited others in a similar situation to the person your try to influence.
There are numerous ways you can use stories to help get your point across
- Use storytelling to motivate your workforce
- Use storytelling to inspire your children (instead of telling them what they should do)
- Use storytelling to get people to buy in to a company vision or mission statement
- Use storytelling to handle objections
- Use storytelling to marry the person of your dreams
- Use storytelling to recruit key personnel into your business
- Use storytelling to share your brand
Life is one big Story
Have you ever thought why do we like certain movies music, art, poetry, books?
I hazard a guess because of the story narratives embedded in the them with emotional hot buttons of love, anger, revenge, victory, loss.
Life is simply one big story with you as the author.
How exactly can you become a better story teller?
Be a curious observer and model what you see with a blend of originality.
Let me explain most people read fictional books go to the theatre watch movies for escapism.
Personally I have another agenda, because in the background “my curiosity killed the cat head” is asking questions like who, what, when and how.
I have a confession to make up until February of 2016 I had never read any fiction book cover to cover. Then whilst out shopping I went to the book section of the store and stumbled across a book called savages by an author called Don Winslow.
He had me turning page after page in an addictive fashion.
The story is about a guy called Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon, who run a luguna beach based marijuana operation, reaping significant profits from loyal clients.
Chon took care of eliminating any threat to their business. But then they come up against something that they can’t handle, the Mexican Baja cartel, and so the story goes on. Months later I got opportunity to watch the movie directed by Oliver Stone.
My movie verdict? As good as the book.
As an entrepreneur, develop what’s known as good brand story that you can share when out networking or speaking in public, or on a podcast or in video format on YouTube.
Did you know that there are some 6 story frame works to become influential?
I will probably share a few in a future blog post or at the live event.
Make it your goal to become a better story seller.
To be continued…
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