This past week I had the honor to facilitate one of my most interesting workshops in years. It was an off-site training, for the highly successful company — New Blood.
The workshop took place in a nightclub that New Blood’s CEO, Eric Northman, has owned for years. We began promptly at the unconventional time of 9pm in the 3rd sub-basement of Fangtastia.
The group was small, just the CEO and his business partner Pam Swynford De Beaufort. They both wanted to find a story to help promote their popular synthetic blood energizer drink that's been around for the past few years. With varying degrees of age and experience, their biggest challenge was finding the right story to tell.
Northman is over 1,000 years old and arguably has millions of stories including some from his human days. Pam (she asked me not to share her age) has some human and vampire experience but not all appropriate to share in the business world. My goal was for both of them to leave with at least one story they could tell that would help inspire other vampires to drink New Blood.
I explained to them that in order to find the story you want to tell, you need to start at the end. Think about your audience and the desired result. Ask yourself the following questions:
- When my story is over, how do I want my audience to feel?
- Once they feel that way, what do I want them to do?
- Is there a time I felt that way and took some action?
That’s the story you should tell!
Eric and Pam worked through this process and both found a story or two. We made sure the selected stories followed the 6 elements on the story map and ran through the invaluable presentation rehearsal process. We wrapped up the training before sunrise, with some phenomenal, persuasive storytelling. I was pleased to find that some of their new storytelling skills ended up in one of their commercials!