Let’s begin with a story that is in dialogue form. I’ve told this story and hundreds of others from the stage and people remember them for the rest of their lives. Let’s see if you’ll remember this story and some of it’s “lessons” for the rest of your life.
Sitting at a restaurant…somewhere…based on a very true story. My dinner partner wants help with reinventing her business. She wants to be a coach like every other human on planet earth and make money on Facebook. Sigh… I’m going to call her Disaster not because she is as a person but because she is stuck in a brain feedback loop that could cause me to be institutionalized.
Kevin: I am definitely trying not to be contemptuous but you have no idea if this is an example of a tiny piece of something that might be profitable. You need to tell me what you are really up for doing. If 1000 people do exactly what she does, 1000 people will all have different results. It all means nothing, really. Nothing.
Get Clear on your Intention and Limit your Scope
Imagine you wanted to teach someone to play chess. If you can explain the basic concept you can succeed in getting the other person to play. If you can’t, you won’t.
“The game has only one goal. Capture the other person’s King, which is one of their 16 pieces they get to use to try to capture your King. You both get the same pieces all of which have different abilities to move around the board and take out the other guys pieces and those pieces serve two functions. Protect their own King and capture the other guys King.”
When you want someone to understand you, begin with the outcome.
Yeah, let that thought settle for a moment…
Say your words so they matter.
In order to work at all, words need help from both the communicator AND the listener. YOU can have a great message to share with the world, but if the world isn’t paying attention, you have nobody but crickets for company. Blah, blah, blah.
Story Influence is the art and science of strategically embedding and disseminating information for a very specific purpose. Today, we’re looking at how to neatly wrap your message inside a story…and how it will make the story far more likely to succeed in achieving the intended result…influencing others to the desired outcome.
(New Story here)
Help them Participate
Just because you are holding the Talking Stick, it does not mean you get to spray words at the listener regardless of whether they are engaged. No-one’s comfortable at that end of the water cannon!
…the room was packed with people. We were all sitting down to eat at a table. 22 of us. One big long table. We were on our lunch break from training. I was sitting next to Ron Stubbs who was engaged in a conversation with our friend Katherin. I was sitting opposite a gal…whose face is a blur and name escapes me because the face is a blur. But the moment was memorable for me.
…the waitress had been gone for almost 20 minutes before lunch was actually served. The woman across from me had been talking for almost the entire 20 minutes. My head was nodding because I wanted to be affable. I was already tired but she never recognized that I didn’t hear a word she said after maybe the first five or six minutes.
I do remember she told me all about her trip to Sedona. The energy vortex and all that. Any time I hear “energy vortex” or anything like that there is a part of me ready for engagement. But on this day, I was tired and soon the stories she was telling me drifted from the energy vortex to a trip she had just taken with her boyfriend and then…I don’t remember…anything.
I was sipping a tall diet Coke with lemon (I never liked lemon in my diet Coke and should have pulled it but I didn’t…) and nodding. I heard Ron and Katherin talking about the training and the modules they were going to be training. And I heard the hum of 10 other voices in the room chatting away, most lively though I wasn’t in tune with any of them.
Ron whispers in my ear, “Hey buddy, (he knows I hate being called “buddy”) you in trance or what?”
I know he said this because he told me later that I did.
Apparently I blinked my eyes.
The woman across from me said, “Don’t you think?”
It dawned on me she had told me a story about something for what seemed like forever (I found out later she had been talking for some 20 minutes straight) and I simply drifted into the ether. Fortunately only Ron noticed.
He laughs in my ear. I immediately get uncomfortable. I like Ron. One of my best friends in the world, but get outta my ear man.
“I can see that.” It is an automatic response I’ve learned over the years that gets you out of trouble when you don’t understand, can’t hear or have spaced out from boredom.
Ron put his left arm around my back grabbing my left shoulder. His Right hand grabbed my right shoulder. He looked at the gal.
“I need him for 2 minutes and you can have him back.”
Katherin looked at me with a big grin. I saw that she knew I was lost in space.
“I just saved your a-s, you owe me.”
And he did. He actually saved the entire class because the woman’s stories had shut me down and sent me past Neptune.
He talked a little about what he wanted to go over that day and then, mercifully, lunch arrived…
Captivate Your Listener
GREAT stories can grab and transport you straight to the teller’s POV, experiencing everything as if you are right there inside the movie in their mind.
BAD stories can totally shut down the listener. It takes very little to drive someone past disengagement to boredom and drop them off at checked-out junction as they struggle to maintain eye contact and polite facial expressions. Try announcing you are going to tell someone about the “really weird” dream you had last night…
Every story should have a purpose. It can be as simple as breaking the ice, or lightening up the concentration long enough to help the brain recharge and refocus for learning or problem solving. Or, it can have a subtle “moral” or teaching point, about you, or others, or how to solve a difficult frame of mind. When it does it is a great vehicle for key messages, and we know that allegory often works best to hold attention, reduce resistance and activate dormant resources.
Without that, stories can be classified as rambling, so get quickly to the all-important WIIFM?
Knowing that CONTEXT provides you with a clarity that will enable you to shape and refine your story, maximizing the experience for you and the listener. It will allow you to test for OUTCOME as you go along, by picking up on verbal and non-verbal cues to TEST for successful reactions.
Let’s get to work. Over the course of the next 3 articles, we’re going to cover a number of critical items as you learn the craft of strategic storytelling and more.
What intention do you have? What do you want the other person to think or feel after telling this story? What is your purpose?
You say to yourself…”I am telling this story to Kevin because I want him to____________” and you make sure your story moves Kevin in that direction.
If people thought in advance WHY they were telling a story they would tell far FEWER stories, or start telling more and BETTER ones. Some people rarely tell stories, leaving their conversation a little flat or dull. It’s never as fun to be told something directly as it is to be told in a story. Stories also become part of your BRAND. Some people tell a great baseball story, or GrandPa Joe’s war tales, and some people have the most hilariously self-deprecating disaster stories about the many ways they managed to injure themselves or fall over. You find yourself eager for the next episode of the Daily Banana Skin, or what they’re watching on TV this week, and that’s a good thing…
You have to get it right. Stories can kill rapport or transport us to a plane far above rapport to a place of connection that is almost electric. That is why we pay $$ for movies and why NETFLIX can’t churn out new content fast enough for a world full of binge-watchers. We love to escape into a story. It explains our life way better that directly representational wording and is so much less boring than our mundane realities. We give permission for our disbelief to be suspended, and to be fooled a little for a little while.
I could swear it goes back to that soothing voice that said “Come and sit down, Children, and I’ll tell you a story…”
My reason for telling you a story must be clear to me or I don’t tell it. I don’t become more valuable by the word, unless those words have value.
Note: Just because you intend to tell a story for a specific result doesn’t mean you will get that specific result. It will ALWAYS be filtered through people’s beliefs, biases and values and experiences, meaning that there’s a chance that the story could be “offensive” or “felt” in a negative way. That will happen particularly when you tell a story to more than one person.
Know two things: It’s not the intention of every story you or I tell to deliver a “calm message.” Many messages MUST ignite emotions and even conflicts of emotions to influence people. That’s called a REACTION.
Second, if you get similar feedback from multiple people you might want to reconsider the value or usefulness of a specific story. That’s the “testing” aspect we just talked about. There will for sure be some trial and error as you craft a more “Signature Story” (more about that later…).
With this caveat: The best communicators are often those who generate the most emotion, positive and negative (reactions) in others. When you think about Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan, you have two very different people and sets of beliefs, but you also have two successful communicators that were generally respected by the majority of people…even those who disagreed with them. Emotion influences because the listener is now emotionally ENGAGED instead of ASLEEP.
Legend Point: Capture, hold and focus the audience’s attention until they go into a natural waking trance. Share information in a simplistic fashion that appeals to the audience’s innate curiosity and need to learn.
Waking trance, wait…what?
Waking trance is the Alpha brain wave state, running about 9-13Hz, where the listener is relaxed but still conscious. That means they went into the movie and they are starting to see, hear, feel from that POV.
Give certain powerful SINGULAR self-revelations that reveal and teach the audience your values, beliefs, the goodness of your heart, and the emotional and experiential reasons for it.
That said, put all the emphasis on SINGULAR. If you tell a story that is a biography or a travelogue of your ENTIRE life-trip you space the other person out and they lose interest …completely.
If you want someone to know that you value loyalty or that you believe in God or that you are a Red Sox fan or whatever, you want to STICK TO THE SINGULAR. PICK one covert message and stick with THAT message.
Avoid communicating too much or cramming too much information in any one story. A good story maxes out at about 4 minutes in conversation with one person. You get one of those about every half hour. With small groups you have to make your stories tighter and more concise. With large groups of say 50 or more you can tell a longer story if it is emotion or action packed. Perhaps 6-7 minutes.
You want to self reveal because you must have the person you are communicating with be able to empathize with you….to know who you are “inside.” But self reveal in a non-threatening fashion.
Always put words of flattery about you back into the mouths of the people who originally said the words. So if you want to tell how smart, kind or professional you are, you will make sure the story you tell is one where someone ELSE tells you how smart, kind or professional you are, or where your qualities are somehow implied indirectly. “It was Thursday night last week and I had finally got through the messages of thanks from the last seminar I delivered, as I like to answer each one personally. People take their time to write, so acknowledging them back is the way I like to do business. So, I heard this really loud noise outside and ….” (add a short throwaway, somewhat amusing incident that you can use to segue into your next point).
This is the beauty of “covert.” It’s why a testimonial means so much more to the average person than a scientific study.
And, a testimonial that is SINGULAR in it’s message is ALWAYS more effective than a testimonial that says you are smart, good looking, and a good gardener…
Continued Next Week
Intrigued? Discover the secrets to what separates Covert Hypnosis from every other compliance technology. Discover what even the experts don’t know about how the mind interacts with the unconscious mind.
Learn More About Utilizing Subtle Covert Influence for Change
Kevin Hogan’s powerful 8-CD program takes you from a barely-there awareness level of subtle communication to a powerhouse expert of subtle unconscious communication. This is everything you need to know to increase the power you have in every communication.
In CD 1, Kevin Hogan reveals specifically the secrets of how to weave the exact messages you want others to act upon into stories that captivate listeners.
CDs 2 & 3 show you how to motivate and compel other people to change their behavior as quickly as is humanly possible. Benefit: You can utilize these covert tools with your own unconscious mind because they link into the core drives and desires that you have!
CD 4 reveals ALL 22 elements of Covert Hypnosis for this first time anywhere! Never before released by anyone, anywhere. The complete Covert Hypnosis Model for change is here. Business? Sales? Consulting? Coaching? Therapy? Learn specifically how to generate change in their thinking with the Covert Hypnosis Model.
CD 5 gives you all the tools necessary to take a person’s deepest drives (sex, eating, acquisition, connection, etc.) and fuse them into building compelling outcomes (the girl of your dreams, lose weight, acquire wealth, meet new people easily). Ignore either aspect, and failure is assured. Successfully meld the two in the unconscious mind and amazing things can happen.
CD 6—Pattern Recognition: Getting someone to think about something is one thing. Getting someone to feel driven to DO something and then watch them do it like magic is something else entirely. Learn so much in just this one CD!!!
CD 7 – This is 2003 neuroscience and research that reveals how to rewire the brain. Some neuroscientists call it “sculpting.” It’s not something that happens instantly and it requires the use of both hemispheres which can be pretty tricky if you don’t know what you are doing.
CD 8 – You are going to learn some unique techniques in the eighth volume of Covert Hypnosis. Not only are you going to learn the truth about values (when they are critical and when they are MEANINGLESS) but you are going to discover the values of the unconscious mind! The unconscious mind and conscious mind do not correlate to each other but they both correlate to the behavior of every person you meet.
Covert Hypnosis: An Advanced Course in Subtle Unconscious Influence The Master’s Secrets Revealed! (Vol. 1 – 8)
“This is THE advanced course in subtle influence! Remember when you read Covert Hypnosis: An Operator’s Manual, and you got that WOW! feeling inside?! Well, that was just the beginning. In Covert Hypnosis: The Master’s Secret Revealed, you are going to learn how to subtly move inside the minds of anyone you communicate with. In trance or out…this is the most powerful material on Covert Hypnosis on the planet. Period.” Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.