The Fifth Stage of Incredible Influence

by Daniel Batten on May 19, 2011

Two waiters deliver 200mls of water to a customer. The first one pours water on the head of the customer. The second one gives the customer water in a glass. Each customer received the same content – but their experiences were different. Why?

The second customer was given a container for that content. That container is called story – and unless you are using it – you will be the first type of waiter: delivering information (content without container) – not inspiration (content + container)

Story is the means by which humans are able to use, process and act upon information. It is the difference between quenching and drenching. The best type of story is personal story (yes, this not only can be done in any business context – it must if you want to delivery information in a usable form). That’s because personal story touches on universal themes – so when you tell your story – you tell theirs too. Plus personal story is authentic which creates a much stronger emotional connection: taking the conversation from the level of “professional to professional” to “human to human” (the level that decisions get made).

That’s why your story speaks to their heart. Even if it seems to be a dry business story. There is no such thing as a dry business story. The moment you start telling a story, people engage their imaginations and their emotions, and they’ll also be more forgiving if you’re not perfect at it – because they are so grateful someone has finally delivered them content they can process and use.

Story relates to the times in their lives when they went through the same themes that you are describing – be that embarrassment, hope, triumph, failure – or whatever your story is about. And they connect to their emotional response to it as they do so.

Story is the vehicle to emotional connection with whoever you are talking to. There are of course others, but story is the strongest, and the most universal.

Here’s my story about what happened before I knew how to use story

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

juliet May 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Very good. I’m enjoying your punchy writing as well as the useful content.

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