In Jimmy Buffett’s song Oysters and Pearls he talks about humans as storytellers:
We’re a pretty mixed up bunch
Of crazy human beans
It’s written on our rocket ships
And in early cave wall scenes.
We are an ancient race of story crafters and tellers. Jimmy’s cave wall drawings and messages on our rocket ships are a living testimony of our imaginations’ ability to connect almost EVERYTHING to story.
I GET IT!
Do you? The idea that story should be a strategic imperative for every business on the planet is a slowly catching virus. Most will say, “Steve, that’s what marketing is for.” True, in some sense. They create the product story, but the real stories that impact the sales process are the stories directly told to the client, the stories YOU craft and tell. The stories that make me FEEL something. Forget about the calculations necessary to make the deal. Before we deal, we FEEL.
So, what is your real understanding of the power and impact of crafting and telling a story? We have been experiencing the power of story our whole lives, from the theater to the guitar, from our favorite books to the end of our child’s bed for a nighttime story.
In this post I want to focus on story from one perspective – MUSIC. Why music? A song can tell a story in a very short time frame, from 2 1/2 to 4 minutes. It can engage our imaginations and take us on a journey where we get the advantage of “seeing” the story in our own context, similar to reading a book.
Here are a couple of story songs (ballads) to give you a great understanding of the art of crafting and telling story.
Vance is a singer songwriter and one of my favorite performers. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union kicked old pluto out of our solar system. Vance was strangely inspired by this event and gave us the story of Pluto’ solar system expulsion.
The King of Rome.
In 1913 a great pigeon race was held from Rome to England. The story of this unlikely event was captured in song by David Sudbury. I have heard it by numerous performers, but this raw version of the STORY, once again by Vance Gilbert, remains my favorite. Listen to Vance tell you the story of The King of Rome.
The Pale Blue Dot.
We launched the Voyager space probe in 1977 and in 1990, astronomer Carl Sagan asked to, as one of the last radio commands issued, turn the Voyager around and take a picture of Earth. Voyager was 3.7 billion miles from Earth and the picture showed Earth as a “pale blue dot.” This image went on to inspire Sagan to write, first an essay, then the book “The Pale Blue Dot.” Here is Sagan sharing the impact this image had on him in a story of passion and beauty.
To get you started on an action item to take your story to the next level, do this ONE thing.
Take any of your stories, those you use with your clients, and ask this SINGLE question – How does it make them FEEL? Work on that and watch your story become strategic and powerful.
So tell us, what’s your story?