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Storytelling: Getting Your Point Across

Storytelling: Getting Your Point Across

As a storyteller, I love language. I know I offend my more precise and articulate content-creator peers with my pedestrian and oftentimes overly-colloquial story style, but to me, language is a rich and glorious palette, and I want to use every color to tell my stories. If I couldn’t mine the more colorful, historic, rustic and regional parts of speech to get something said, I’m not sure I would enjoy language that much at all.

As it is, everything that has come to me in this life has come as a direct result of my ability to communicate. Not born of wealth and privilege, I’ve had to convince the world that I knew something, and that based on merit alone I deserved a place at the table. I quickly found that if I sounded like I was “one of the group”, it didn’t take much to get the invitation.

I’m a bit of a chameleon when speaking to various types of people. Getting a read on the person or group of people I am talking with quickly shapes and informs the way I speak to them. With an older farmer or rancher, I might slow down a bit and say less, like I am chewing my cud. When I do speak, I try to adopt a very organic and natural cadence, full of rich metaphors drawn from the natural world. On the other hand, talking with a senior C-level executive of a Fortune 500 company, I am likely to be quick to my point, direct and authoritative. The purpose in either case is quite simple: I want to get my point across. I want to be persuasive, to have influence. I want to be seen and trusted as someone of a like mind, who then has the ability to mold and shape their ideas about things, and in so doing, gain their cooperation in my own plans.

Isn’t that the ultimate goal of marketing? Think about your company’s storytelling, or “content strategy”. Is it perceived as authentic? Have you failed to use the language of your customers to reach them and connect more efficiently? How could you change your approach to better “speak to the room”?

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