I have had several clients come to me, having left the corporate sector, and wanting to engage an audience without the power of their position.
Story will do that for you as a leader, without you having to rely on your authority, and that makes it so much more effective!!
Jane came from a position as Project Manager with a large mining company.
She was confident, strong, obviously aware of her skills and her success in her career.
She has seen a need in the industry and decided to leave her job and create a startup to develop software that would make work more efficient and effective.
And now she needed to pitch her product, market it, share her vision for it.
And I was amused to see her so obviously confused and bereft, really, when she came to me, admitting that she suddenly realised she couldn’t use her authority to engage her audience.
Amanda came to an open mic night to get feedback on her corporate “town hall” presentation.
It was so full of jargon that I understand maybe one sentence in three.
Nevertheless, she was obviously proud of her presentation. It proved she could “speak the language”. Her engagement and authority relied on it.
Both of these women and the men that I coach are suffering from varying degrees of disconnection with their audience.
Many aren’t even aware of it. That’s how it is done in their world and they are simply perpetuating their culture.
And their audience tolerate it, thinking that if only they understood the language a little better, they, too, could achieve success in that world.
Story is the ultimate connection tool.
It’s the ultimate engagement tool.
It’s the ultimate persuasion tool,
Tell your own story.
Tell the story of someone your audience knows, someone they can relate to.
Tell the story of how it could be for them, of how they could be, of how success will feel.
Choose the story with your audience in mind, with a lesson they need, with a vision they already know they own,
and there will be no more need for “authority” of “corporate speak” or bullying,
just a bonding, relationship building and cultural alignment that will surprise even the most hardened of corporate gangsters.