Reeling People In

Capturing attention.

For anyone in business, this is critical.

Failure to do so leads to decreased brand awareness, loss of potential customers, and {gulp} even closing your doors for good.

​But HOW do you capture attention…​

When people have become so adept at tuning everything out.

An experience two days ago holds the key to solving this tricky puzzle…

Sunday morning, 11:16 a.m.

We’re sitting on a cushioned pew listening to a speaker in church.

My youngest, Annie (7), is drawing on a scrap of paper with colored pencils. My other daughters are sitting still but not really paying much attention.

But then everything changed.

Almost like a flip had been switched, people started to sit up in their seats. Heads raised to listen more closely to the speaker. And even my girls looked up from what they were doing.

Looking around the chapel, I witnessed a similar reaction happening all around us. A power that was literally pulling people back into the present.

What was it?

A simple story.

The speaker had changed from statements of fact to sharing a personal experience. And as the story progressed, the more everyone found themselves leaning into the story.

From zero attention to full attention just like that.

Instead of waiting out the clock, people were waiting on every word, wondering what would happen next.

Just like magic.

Although I listened to this guy for 15 minutes, I’d be hard pressed to tell you much of what he said before the story. But the story is still there in my head, and I could retell it without any problem.

In my 16 years of marketing experience, I’ve never found anything that is equal to the power of a good story.

It’s the easiest way to cut through all the noise, hook someone’s attention, and reel them in.

It’s relatable, it’s educational, and it’s memorable.

So next time you are trying to capture someone’s attention, find a relevant story and lead with that.

As communication expert Nancy Duarte stated,

“A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey, they feel different, they behave differently.”

-Mark ‘story-advocate’ Thackeray

P.S. Stories can be used in all sorts of ways. Here’s just a few examples…

  • Highlight a client’s recent turnaround or success
  • Demonstrate credibility by showing that you have been through the same challenges
  • Inspire someone to consider an alternative path to a solution

Find stories that resonate and always have them at the ready!