Successful marketers know that everyone loves a story. Put the listener at the heart of the action and you’re halfway to winning the battle. But here’s the secret none of them will tell you – you can use these techniques on just about anyone, to persuade them to do just about anything. That’s why I recommend including them in the training setup at your next conference or seminar. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.
If you tell a boring story, no-one listens. If you create a personality and inject it into everything you do, then people watch and hear. The story you tell at your training seminar starts with a key personality – that of your brand. Use it to inform everything you say and do – and, buy extension, everything that your seminar aims to achieve. Rather than telling people they’re going to learn how to sell your product, tell them they’re going to learn how to give their consumer the full brand experience.
In other words, be consistent. If the things you say, and the way you train your delegates, has nothing to hold it together then your message becomes confusing. Brand truth in training is just as important as it is in selling. In essence, it’s the art of making your delegates believe in you. When they can see how everything you put into your training adheres to the central truth or message of the brand, they’ll be willing to follow you wherever you choose to take them.
While modern fiction may play with the classic form of beginning, middle, end, your training and branding needs to be much simpler. Start with a premise, explore it, and then show your delegates what happens when they have grasped it. These three things are the basic beginning, middle and end of every training story you will ever tell. Like your brand truth, if they all hang together then they will convince every delegate.
The best stories have a great hook, which captures the attention of the audience almost immediately. You can get a long way through a book just because you liked the central premise right at the start – and your training seminar is no different. Hit your delegates with the good stuff right away. Tell them what you are going to empower them to do. Make it blunt and forceful. Then work up to the payoff, which in a good training seminar is the bit where you prove to the delegates that you have already given them the tools they need for success. It works every time.
The great thing about telling a training story is this – your central character already exists, and you have very little fictionalising to do to make him or her come alive. The art of training talk is to get your delegates to see themselves as the central character in your story, and to give them the kind of heroic character arc they would naturally root for. Don’t be afraid to pull some examples from popular culture to ground your training story in some kind of preconceived tale: telling the delegate he or she is like Batman or Catwoman is always a good way to begin. Book today and inspire your team!