The most propulsive business stories shine the light on an interest, goal, or problem that both the teller and the audience share. The power of these stories stems from the strong me-to-we connection that forms as soon as it registers that the teller is talking about a feeling or situation that the listener personally has experienced. That connection ignites the audience’s empathy, secures their trust in the teller, and guarantees their interest in the call to action.
At one of Peter Guber’s narrative conclaves, YouTube founder Chad Hurley shared a story, which he and his partner Steve Chen told to prospective backers, customers, and the media as they were struggling to launch their venture in 2005 – just one year before they sold the company to Google for $1.6 billion.
“We were having a party in San Francisco during the pre-YouTube era. We’d shot a lot of great videos of our guests, which we wanted to load onto the Internet to share with other friends and family. Our problem was we wanted to get it out right away. But uploading was time consuming and complicated, and the net result looked like garbage. It shot our enthusiasm, and the fun of the moment was lost.”
They realized that anyone in this situation would feel the same way, since the impulse to share positive experiences immediately is universal. This realization told them their problem contained a me-to-we opportunity, which they turned into YouTube. By 2006, 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every 24 hours.
MORE ABOUT TELL TO WIN
To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.