When you are trying to explain something to someone (let’s say, what happened in yesterday’s big game) you want them to understand the excitement that was in the atmosphere and not only the final score. You want them to have the same experience that you had yesterday, when you witnessed the most amazing display of athleticism since Jordan defied the laws of gravity and dunked it from the free-throw line.
So you need to amp up your telling of the story by painting a picture, being artistic, creative and enthusiastic about the topic – showing emotion. But how do you attempt and accomplish this without having to end your story with, “Well, I guess you had to be there…”?
The story is what pulls them in. It’s what actually draws them and keeps them listening, watching, and waiting for what comes next. Let’s get back to Jordan. Now if I told you what happened on the night of February 6th, 1988 by saying, “Michael dunked it from the line during the dunk competition last night. Did you see it? It was pretty cool…” That is just the information of what actually happened. It doesn’t sound that amazing, especially if you are an NBA enthusiast. I mean, Dr. J did it a long time before that, and Jordan actually already had done it himself 3 years prior. So, what’s so amazing about that?
Try saying the same thing with description and notice the difference. “Last night Jordan took off from the line, his head was at the rim! It looked like he kept elevating as soon as his shoes left the court! I mean, he had time to double pump in mid air with one hand!” I know there are a lot of exclamations in there, but that’s what it should sound like cause it really was amazing. “The Airness” himself…Look at that photo!!!
Your story has to mean something to you. If it doesn’t, chances are that whoever you are telling will see through to the truth and lose interest quickly. If you are a company that has an amazing product that provides a great solution, you should put all of your stock in it right?
You should have a compelling narrative to tell your audience who are in need of the solution. Make it interesting, but have your story make sense as well. You can’t just fly off the handle with some epic, grandiose spectacle that completely disconnects whatever you are selling from reality. People will begin to question your story and expertise. So tell the truth about your brand, but make it interesting.
In the comedic world, this is the punchline. For the film and music world, it is the resolve. With any type of art form it is crucial to include your audience in your story for the entirety of it, and to celebrate with them. This is a real relationship with your audience (or customers) so you have to be involved in all aspects of the story, even the end.
Now when I say “celebrate”, I mean stay engaged through the entire process. Don’t leave them hanging, give them that resolve and celebrate the solution that your product provides.
I mean, I will still high-five anyone who talks to me about Jordan’s dunk. It’s that good.