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Tell your story

October 12, 2011

I am in Orlando Florida right now at a United States Swim School association conference and just got out of a very touching presentation! Disney presented the idea that everyone has a story, and people respond to them two ways,  emotionally and intellectually. When telling and story it is important that your audience understands them in both ways. Understanding only one over the other will cause a lot of friction and frustration between you and your audience.

Intellectual Connection: This is when a person “gets” what you are talking about. Let’s take swimming for example. A parent comes into the school to get information about swim lesson , you give them your normal every day speech about how important lessons are to a child’s growth and development and how they will benefit in so many ways as in regards to making friends, learning to work in groups, learning to swim etc. The parent says, “ok, I guess we will try it and see how the child likes it”. This parent has mastered the intellectual connect with your storey. They see the facts, agree with them and act upon them. Your story ONLY captured them intellectually.

Emotional Connection: This is when a person “feels” what you are talking about. For example, same person comes in and asks for information, instead of telling them the facts your say, “oh my god, I can’t believe your child has not been in lessons yet, are you crazy, do you not know about the statistics of drowning children in the state of California, what kind of parent are you.” This parent now, so scared, re acts and puts their child in lessons based on fear that they failed as a parent and didn’t get their child in earlier or, they are scared they will be judged. Again your only captured one level of connection, Emotional.

Here is a way to capture both  new client comes in and your tell them this story. “Swim Lessons are such an important part of your child’s physical and mental development. Not only will lessons help strengthen bodies and minds they will also teach your life lessons.  We had a young boy mom come in to get information’s once and  after giving her our speech she responded, “well I guess my son already knows how to swim so i won’t be enrolling.”  2 years later she came back with another child and told us how she tragically had lost her son in a drowning accident and even though her other son knows how to swim, doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice.”

The mom in the Story finally understood our message in both an Intellectual and emotional way.

So, keep in mind next time you are telling a story, facts and statistics aren’t all that matters, you must reach them emotionally as well.

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