For your next sales-and-storytelling practice session, try this.
Think of your favorite popular song, one that everybody knows. Then tap out the tune on the table with your hand, and have the rest of your team go around in a circle and guess what the song is. Try it a few times and see how many times the song gets guessed.
How’d it go?
The answer is: terribly.
You can’t guess a song by just hearing the rhythm. But even so, when you’re the person tapping that “tune,” you can’t help but hear the song in your head. Nor can you help wondering (just a little bit) “why don’t they hear it too?”
This is your storytelling problem in a nutshell: you can see something that your audience can’t.
This something has a color and a smell and a texture, it is just about to burst with feeling and emotion and meaning.
Your stories need to help us see what you see. As your audience, we are begging you to paint this living, vibrant thing for us, to help us see what you see so we can feel what you feel. Let us, first, experience its texture and shape and possibility.
That’s your one and only job at the outset.
Once that’s complete we have a real, shared conversation about whether and how to make that picture come to life.