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Telling a Story

September 25th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Over the years, I have realised the importance of being able to tell a story of what one is doing in a manner that is simple and compact. It doesn’t always start that way. On my recent US trip, I had a slide deck talking about NetCore, what we want to do, and discussing the assets we have created to help us build the future faster. I worked a lot on the slide deck. It took about 5 versions to get it just right. Each version took about two hours to create on successive days. To tell a story that others can understand in 10 minutes took 10 hours of hard work.

It is not easy telling one’s story. My natural inclination is to be comprehensive rather than compact. I try and fill in all sorts of details. That doesn’t work, as I realised quickly. In meetings, one has about 15-20 minutes to deliver the key message. And that has to be done upfront. It is not easy, but it can be done if one focuses only on the Most Important Point. Each story has one key message, and the focus should be on delivering that with maximum effectiveness.

Working on this through the early part of this trip reminded me of the two-minute pitch I had given at PC Forum a few years ago for the $100 PC and Novatium. It took many hours of work to get that two-minute talk right. It was the same this time around with the story.

Luckily, I had a lot of help to get the story right. After the first few times I did it (not so effectively), I would analyse with those who heard me what I was doing right and what wasn’t going well. I then kept working through to get it just perfect. We will know when we get it right by just watching the reaction of the people in the room who are listening.

Telling a Story is a key attribute that every entrepreneur, manager and sales person needs. However good an idea, if it cannot be communicated well, then it has a lesser chance of succeeding. Passion combined with a Perfect Story can be a winning combination.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kasi // Sep 25, 2009 at 10:40 am

    One of my friend told that Ambani had a 20-second pitch with Rajiv Gandhi while walking to his car and that made Rajiv to give a 4-hour meeting with Ambani.

    I donno how true it is… may be one of those urban legend… but i take it as a good example of an “elevator pitch”.

    Kasi

  • 2 Blog Past: Telling A Story // Sep 5, 2010 at 5:00 am

    […] a blog post a year ago: Over the years, I have realised the importance of being able to tell a story of what one is doing […]

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