“In your story, give listeners the emotional experience of working with your company or your product — and succeeding!”
In the last two blogs, you read about the first two steps of Michael Hauge’s story creation process:
1. Talk about the everyday life of your character
2. Show the crisis she faces that motivates her to take a new action.
In this post, you’ll read about the next part of your story — the pursuit.
Pursuit shows the first steps of the character’s experience with your product or service. The key to this part of your story is that your character shouldn’t experience quick success. Stories that show someone struggling, then easily realizing success aren’t believable. That’s not how life happens.
Think about what happens when we face challenging situations. We try new ways to overcome them. We experience a success, then a failure, some more success, another failure. That’s how we learn and grow. When your story shortcuts this process, listeners may doubt it’s honesty.
Consider the story of my client Patti. When I met her she asked for my help. She said, “I have to give this speech and it’s making me sick to my stomach, I’m not sleeping well, and it’s got me stressed out.”
In the shorter version of this story, I jump ahead 11 months to the night of her speech. She confidently presented her talk. It was compelling, entertaining and evoked a few tear and many laughs.
HOW did she make such a dramatic change?
When I ask this question in workshops, I always get this response:
The Purpose of Pursuit in Your Story
She did, but that’s not the reason I ask the question. The purpose is to shine a light on her. She is the hero of the story. At a deeper level, I want to let the audience know that Patti did the work. She invested her time, money and emotions to become a better speaker.
She didn’t magically improve her skills because she paid me a fee. She also didn’t wake up after a couple of sessions and absorb these skills. She wrote her talk, practiced, got feedback and then repeated the process. She continued this process until the night of her speech.
I share that story because I don’t want prospective clients to think there is a ‘magic bullet.’ You have to put in the work. As sales coach Mark Hunter says, “I will guide you and give you the map, but you’ve got to drive the car.”
The Power of the Realistic Journey
The pursuit aspect of your story can create a deeper bond with your audience. But, only on one condition. It must illustrate a realistic journey of your character implementing your product or service.
Do this, and you’re ready for the fourth step of Michael’s six-part structure. By now, you know that you won’t discover what that is until you read next week’s post.
THERE’S STILL TIME!
‘Be Your Best on the TEDx Stage’
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