Dr. Shirley Pomponi told Peter Guber that her challenge was to break through the traditional thinking of pharmaceutical and biotech companies who believed that cures are found only in the lab, and convince them to invest in further exploration.
Where? In the bottom of the ocean. Her tool of choice? Turn research into stories.
She had been looking for the silver bullet that would tell and sell this vision and she found it in the story of a tiny snail. “This creature had something a little sinister in its venom and harpoon. I was dazzled by its inventiveness. Clearly this snail was my hero. So here was a simple animal whose ultimate objective was to kill the fish so he could eat it,” Shirley said. “But to do that he produced this whole suite of chemicals that each did different things. Scientists took the snail and removed the toxin from its venom gland. They started isolating the different chemical components and testing them. One chemical caused spasms; another caused lethargy; but one chemical acted as a pain killer! So the researchers convinced a pharmaceutical company to start testing it on other animals and eventually developed it into a drug for humans.”
This telling transported her listeners from a purely scientific, informational scenario into an emotional offering through one feisty little snail. Pomponi told the snail story to every potential investor. Why? Because the message hidden within this story was that the ocean is brimming with cures and treatments that can benefit humans and pay off handsomely for investors.
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.