Welcome back to the BackStage Blog where, every week, we get you ready to set onto your dream stage in front of your dream audience. I’m Pat Quinn, and I help people craft their signature talks so that they can master the stage. Today, I want to tell you about three types of stories that you want to include in your presentation.
Many people fashion themselves as good storytellers. I wouldn’t consider myself a natural storyteller, but I know people who are really good at telling stories. You might be good at telling stories, but that doesn’t mean you’re good at using stories to get people to want to do business with you. I want to show you how to use storytelling to inspire people to say yes to your offer or to take a particular action.
Can I go further with you? Can I hear more from you? Can I join? Can I attend?
That is taking action.
And stories can help you do that. Stories will always sell better than facts will sell.
Facts create arguments, and stories actually sell.
My goal for when you tell your stories is that you get the audience to want to take the next step with you. There are speaking coaches who will teach you how to be entertaining. There are some speaking coaches who will teach you how to make the audience laugh or cry. That is not our goal.
Remember, criers are not buyers.
Our goal is never to make the audience cry. Although that might happen as we tell the story, that is not our goal. Our goal is that the audience would go deeper with you, and for that to happen, you not only have to be telling the right stories, but you have to be telling stories in the right order and in the right way.
Two of the biggest mistakes that I see in storytelling
1) Telling your most inspiring story first
Maybe you were homeless, and now you are rich. That’s a great, inspiring story, but it is not the right story to start with unless you’re speaking to an audience of people who are homeless. Some people tell their saddest story. A lot of people want to share how a tragedy affected their life. That’s not the right story to tell because this is your first story. Remember that this is a new audience, and you have just met these people. Sharing a trauma in your life is not the right story to start off with. Think of it like the first date, and you don’t share everything on a first date. You just share things that you have in common.
2) Telling a separation story.
What is a separation story? A separation story is a story when you have done something the audience has not. I have built a company that is bigger than yours. I have grown my business faster than you have. I have a list that is bigger than yours. I have worked with some of the greatest speakers in the world. I have worked with Grant Cardone, Tony Robbins, Damon John, and the sharks from Shark Tank, which many of you have not. There is a place to tell you that, to build my credibility. And I may even convince you that I’m the type of person you want to work with. But this should not be your opening story.
THE TRIPLE THREAD
I’m going to share with you three stories you want to use when building your presentation. When you link these three stories together, they’re an unbeatable combination, and they will walk people right down the path to doing business with you.
You never have to feel pushy.
You may say you’re bad at selling, but the question is, are you good at storytelling? If you’re good at storytelling, you’ll never have to sell anything again.
Just tell these three stories in order.
The story to start with, the right story to start with is a CONNECTION STORY.
What is the right connection story for your specific audience? What are they experiencing in life?
The opening story is the place to tell a story about something we have in common.
Does your story make your audience nod their heads and say, “That same thing happened to me?”
If so, then that’s the right story.
My daughter is one of the smartest people in the world. She’s a graduate student at one of the top universities in the world. Less than 1% of 1% of students get into this university and she’s getting a PhD next year. If I’m giving a parenting presentation to a group of a hundred parents, I could say my daughter’s one of the smartest kids in the world, and I would separate. Or I could tell a story that every parent in the room would relate to, like a story about struggling to get my kids to go to bed on time. I could tell a story about my kids when they were teenagers, and they were staring at their phones at the dinner table while I’m trying to talk to them. Then I have every parent in the room nodding their head.
I have created a connection.
Connecting with your audience is easy. Just do what you do naturally when you meet somebody for the first time. Whether it’s a first date or a phone call or an introduction at a networking event, you’re always looking for what you might have in common with others. You discuss things like where you’ve lived, where you’ve traveled, your family, your interests, and your favorite football team.
Part of building trust with your audience is finding those things you have in common with people.
You want your connection story to be a personal story..
It can’t be a client story.
It can’t be a story you read in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
It has to be a personal story.
The second story that you need is a TRANSFORMATION STORY
A Transformation story has three parts.
1) Part one describes your life before the transformation.
So, if you have an offer that’s helping people who are in broken relationships, you’ll tell a broken relationship story. If you’re speaking to an audience of people who are struggling to lose weight, you should tell a story about a time when you, or one of your clients, were struggling to lose weight.
2) Part two is the pivot – the thing that changed.
Here are some valuable insights about your pivot:
The pivot is actually what you are selling.
For example, we know that Pete Vargas helps people get their message out by using stages. He helps them 10x their businesses using stages. For Pete, the pivot is stages. So, he can tell a story of how life was before he realized the power of stages. Next, he can share that pivot moment when he started using stages, and how he then began to see great success. That’s his transformation story.
Pete’s audience is people who have a message that they want to get out to the world, so his pivot is going to grab them and sell the product without Pete having to be pushy.
The pivot must align with what you are selling.
Alignment means the story that you’re telling matches the content that you’re teaching, and the offer that you’re making.
Put the investment right into the pivot
If you are selling something a little more expensive, consider putting the investment right into the pivot.
Transformation takes investment. Pete Vargas is a great tennis player. How did he get so good? He invested in a tennis coach that had played at Wimbledon. Pete uses this story often because he is modeling for the audience that transformation takes a change in your behavior. Transformation also takes an investment of time, energy, and money
Put some sticker shock in your pivot.
Every audience has its skeptics. Address your skeptics with statements like: “I didn’t know if this would work for me or not, but I was desperate for it. So, I tried it, and it worked better than I even thought it could.”
If there is going to be sticker shock in your price, like people are expecting to invest a thousand dollars with you and your price is actually $5,000, put some sticker shock in your pivot.
3) Part three describes what your life is like after the change.
Be careful about how you share your success. When some big name like Tony Robbins or Grant Cardone shares that they held a webinar and it sold a million dollars, the first thought in your head might be how they have a list of a million people and a studio with camera men at their beckon call.
A better story to tell in that situation would be, I remember when I was getting started, I had no list, money, or camera. I just used my laptop that had a camera built into it and I held a webinar and made money. The connection with your audience is that you had no money, no cameras, etc. You want to keep your emphasis on the things you have in common with your audience. Otherwise, they will hear the transformation story and say- Well, that’s you. You’re not like me.
The third story you need is a CUSTOMER JOURNEY STORY.
Your customer journey story should talk about how a customer decided to invest in working with you – how they took the next steps and how they came to see success.
Now, let us link all three of them together.
You start with the connection story because without it, you do not have trust, and the audience does not see themselves in the transformation.
You follow the connection story with a transformation story so the audience sees themselves having your same transformative results because you have built such a strong connection.
Then, you share the customer journey story that shares how somebody who is sitting in the room took this next step, whether that is signing up for a free download, scheduling a free appointment, buying your product, coming to your workshop and they now have their own transformation story.
You put the three of them together.
That is why I called it the triple thread.
We want to share a special gift with you that will help you develop your stories.
Simply go to 10xstages.com/storyjournal and download the same story journal that I and Pete Vargas used.
We want to help you keep track of those stories and keep telling stories. The more you practice, the more people will come into your world, and the larger the impact you’re going to have on this generation and the next. Get good at storytelling. We know this journal will help you on this journey of being a masterful storyteller.