Written by Melinda Stephenson, Jr Art Director, Sandbox Brand Marketing
You ever notice when being introduced to someone at an event, no matter what the situation is, one question always arises. “What do you do for a living?”
The answer you give could vary from a quick sales pitch to a narrative about what your life has been like over the past year or years. I’ve often wondered how to answer this question, without bragging or being too humble and boring. What it really boils down too, is telling your story in a compelling and succinct way to grab the attention of the audience you are with. I find the forgettable answers to this question are the ones that just contain factual information about the person. The more memorable responses are stories the person tells about their life that usually involves a crisis and some form of humour. They allow those listening to get past the superficial information most people share and actual learn a little about the person. A story that will keep their mobile devices in their pockets and keep their eyes and ears focused on you.
Everyone loves a good story, we’ve been telling stories for years. Our ancestors were the first ones to pass down history through gripping tales. The stories of course evolve and change through the centuries, but the main content remains the same. The best stories grab the attention of your audience. (Not sure if this next sentence makes sense have another look )They are escaping into your world for a moment in awe and wonder, and if your great at telling your story, you will have them for minutes, hours, days or a lifetime.
Think about it, what’s your story? What was a significant turning point or crises in your life that has taken you down the path you are on right now? What values do you live your live by? What drives you to do the daily things you do, and how does that make you happy? Ask your friends, your family, even your co-workers if you are not sure. I bet you’ll find a few amazing things about your life, you had not even considered. Suddenly, you have a story!
So next time you are at that networking event, or a friend’s party, where there are new comers, try out your story. It’s the story that will attract the attention of your potential client, new friend or colleague. They will keep coming back to you, because they relate to you, they want to work with you or spend time with you. That’s how big companies like Coke and Nike do it. They out story their competition. You can see the same effect in politics, sporting events and public speakers.
Just remember one thing, your story will act like a magnet, attracting those people to you, influencing their behavior and how they interact with you.