What’s Your Story? Making Better Connections

Many articles have been published in business journals lately exploring how to “tell a better story.” Most use a business or client meeting as their setting.

Nowhere, however, is the need for powerful storytelling greater than on a tradeshow floor.

In a matter of seconds you must intercept, engage, qualify, and connect with attendees. A provocative opening line is great, but then what?  A powerful story creates and cements connections.

A major pitfall to avoid is telling a business story “for no reason.” This means, the content is self-referential and does not contain a clear “intent to connect.”  You’re talking “at” an attendee, and not actively connecting with them.

So what makes for a good “story” on a tradeshow floor?  First, let’s explore “content. Your stories should:

  • Pre-address the issues you know your attendee will have, e.g. “I know what you’re thinking…”
  • Inspire the attendee with your company’s vision in action, not just a bald statement of fact.  A mini-case study with compelling results supports this goal..
  • Include organic and specific “next steps,” e.g. step up to a demo, set an onsite visit, etc.
  • Share proprietary or new information the attendee can use.

Now let’s explore how you tell your story.

  • Transition from being a mere narrator to being a true storyteller.
  • Don’t offer a sterile laundry list of events, “Then this happened, then that happened … ”
  • Share the emotions that compelled you and your client to act; “Their supply chain was filled with bottlenecks, and Dawn was getting intense pressure from her Senior Management.  Her coffee consumption went through the roof and the situation was starting to impact her health … ”

When you include useful content, clear next steps, and frame it with real-world emotions, you you create stronger connections.

Bottom line: Don’t be another spectator in your story; be the driver and invite your listeners to climb aboard.