The Brain loves contrast
If you didn't know that Cinderella had a horrible stepmother and stepsisters would her story be as good?
If Cinderella lived in a four bedroom colonial with two and half baths on a cul-de-sac and then married a prince it wouldn't be much of a story. The same holds true for any business story. If you have a customer story without contrast how would your viewer know how big an improvement you've created with your product or service? There are a lot of different ways to show contrast. Here are my two favorites:
1. Show it with numbers
If your customers took three weeks to complete a task that now can be done in 20 minutes that should be the backbone of your story. Look for time, money or effort savings. You can also look for product or platforms that are eliminated from a workflow. Numbers are king, but it's not the only way to show contrast.
2. Show a person's journey
Engaging the emotions of your listener is a great way to connect and be memorable. If a person joined a company because they wanted to help the organization achieve a mission and your product or service helped them to that end it shows contrast. The journey shows a before and after and can be highly memorable by adding emotion to the story. The viewer can identify with the person in the story and imagine themselves on their own journey or success.
Contrast is king, but it's common to see and hear stories where it's omitted. So, do a double check on every story you tell and you'll see the results.
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Robert is a speaker coach, actor, director, author, speaker, executive and overall marketing guy. He writes about all aspects of presenting and connecting with audiences.