Bill Gates isn't known for making brilliant speeches.
But there's this moment where he stands on the TED stage with a schoolboy smirk on his face.
He reaches a container that's sitting on a table nearby and opens a container. He then proceeds to tell the audience he's just released a few mosquitoes into the audience.
Suddenly Gates' story comes alive
He's been talking about malaria; how it's a deadly disease; how it dramatically changes the life of people. And it's not like the audience isn't listening. But it still comes across as blah, blah, blah and more blah.
Until the mosquito moment his story has been all facts; all figures
Is the presentation interesting? Sure, but it ramps up considerably once he reaches the “mosquito moment”. Suddenly those sleepy heads are awake; audience members stop their tweeting mid-sentence. The story has jolted the audience awake in the nicest way possible.
Storytelling is “persuasion with class”
You can use all the “buy now” buttons and countdown clocks, but it just comes across as aggressive. You can use facts, figures, and yes, they all work to persuade, but storytelling does it with finesse.
Without stories, books are a mountain of blah.
Without stories—presentations are the like the ones you've slept through. Stories form the core of podcasts, articles, webinars—even your sales pages. Without storytelling, it's all push, push, push every step of the way.
But it's not enough to tell stories—you have to be able to confidently connect them
A story might be brilliant—but how do you connect it to a business topic? It's not like we can't tell a story. We all tell the occasional story at a party, or over a cup of coffee. And even if the story has enormous drama, we never consider it when creating content. And that's because most storytelling books or workshops give you just one part of the puzzle—the storytelling part.
Eventually, it's the connection that matters.
That link allows the client to make the journey forward. Suddenly, your audience is looking forward to your next slide, the next page, the next line. The story doesn't live and die like a may fly. It continues to live and prosper.
Let's face it, it's mayhem out there in Internet-land!
Everyone trying to write articles, do podcasts, and create fantabulous content. And the storytellers stand head and shoulders above mere content. It persuades, it enthrals, it creates momentum.
And it's memorable.
Would you ever forget the “mosquito moment” as long as you live?