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Facts and figures alone won’t cut it. You also need compelling stories…

I had never been to Texas before. Yet there I was. In the city center of Austin. Amidst 500 attendees of the SxSW-festival. Packed into one of Hilton hotel’s many fluorescent-lit conference rooms. Anxiously waiting for Christopher Graves to take the stage.

Now, this happened more than 6 years ago. But, for a brief moment, you were there with me.

Maybe you don’t know what the letters SxSW stand for. Nor have you heard Graves’ name before. This however, didn’t stop you from creating an image in your mind. An image of being in a conference room waiting for someone to come on and address the crowd.

And that – according to Christopher Graves – is the power of storytelling. People don’t make much of a distinction between hearing about an experience and encountering it in real life.

When marketing your services, facts and figures alone won’t cut it. You also need compelling stories. Stories that affect people. Stories that let you get into their minds.

That’s how you change what people know, what they feel and what they do.

As a subject matter expert you are bursting with knowledge, expertise and experience. Yet you may find it difficult to translate all that subject matter expertise into an attractive story for your target audience.

Here’s a framework you can use:

Before you craft your story, you need…

  1. A topic – What’s your story about? You probably already know. Quick tip: make it smaller. Don’t cram everything you know into one story.
  2. A clear idea of your target audience – Who do you want to listen / read / watch?
  3. A specific goal – What do you want your audience to know, feel and do after they’ve heard your story?
  4. A before and an after – What does your audience know and feel about the topic? What are they currently doing? How would you like this to be different after they’ve heard your story?

Now, you’ve all the information you need for your foundation.

Time to craft your story:

  1. First, set the scene. Give the audience all the information they don’t know yet.
  2. Then, let them experience an aha-moment. Make it click.
  3. And finish with a clear call to action indicating what your audience should do next.

Hope this helps!

Thank you for reading Nudge #006, sent to busy subject matter experts on September 19, 2023.

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