Business Strategy

“The Pitch” is dead: Why storytelling is more important

storytelling is more important

Sales isn’t what it once was. The days of the fast talking “car salesman” are long gone. We now live in a 120 character world, and even when you do get more than 8 seconds to talk with a prospect, the way effective presentations are delivered has changed.

David JP Phillips gave a great TED talk on “How to avoid death By PowerPoint”. The title of his presentation alone relates to almost everyone who has ever sat through a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation. If you have ever watched a TED talk, or been to a conference with a great speaker, you will notice a common quality; they deliver their message by telling a compelling story, not by amazing transitions and graphs. If you want to understand the science behind an effective PowerPoint,  you can view David’s full TED talk below.

The purpose of this post is not meant to be a guide to using PowerPoint, it is to illustrate how people consume information. There is a hard truth most people don’t want to accept: most people don’t care what you have to say unless it can provide them with value, or help them solve a problem. If you want their attention, then give them want they want – tell them a compelling story that either provides them with value, or shows them how to solve a particular problem.

I recently had the privilege of hearing Kyle Nel and Ari Popper explain how they crafted a proposal in the form of a comic book to convince the executive team at Lowe’s to create the new Holoroom. What was interesting about their approach, was the emphasis on delivering a message through a medium that was more easily understood, and obviously more fun to digest.

To deliver your message you don’t need to hire a graphic artist or a cartoonist, but you need to adjust your approach.

Things to consider when crafting a compelling story:

  • Do you understand the prospect’s problems?
  • What is your value proposition? Does it resonate with your ideal client?
  • Do you have case studies, or personal examples that can be shared in the form of a story, not a chart or graph?
  • How can you relate your examples to your prospects problems?

As promised here is the David JP Phillips’ TED Talk on “How to avoid Death by PowerPoint”:

Doug Foley
Doug Foley is a podcast host, content marketer, and problem solver. He is also the youngest of 7 brothers and sisters, a proud father of 2, and is on a mission to help people find their passion, take action, and build the life they want to live. He frequently writes about entrepreneurship, personal development, and motivation.
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