You are a person who is motivated by strong core values. You are a person who’s so deeply interested in something that you’ve immersed yourself in it for years. You are a person who’s been through triumphs and mistakes like everyone else who’s alive. Let people see who you are.
When you do a media interview, talking about why your work matters to you always enhances your message. When you’re speaking to your employees, telling them about an early mistake and the lesson you learned shows them that they too can learn and grow as you did. When you’re talking to a customer, telling them about the rocky road that led to your product success today so they can see both your commitment to quality and your resilience.
Before you decide to tell a personal story, prepare it and vet it. You want to be relatable and human, you don’t want to overshare or make anyone uncomfortable. For example, a story at your all hands about how the airline lost your luggage but still won a major new client at a breakfast meeting while wearing a Batman t-shirt is great. A story about food poisoning and throwing up on the person next to you on the airplane, not so much. See the difference?
Listen to Bernie Swain, chairman and founder of Washington Speakers Bureau, on Whitney Johnson’s exceptional Disrupt Yourself podcast. He talks about bringing his wife and kids up on stage with him at his first event introducing his business. He got his first former U.S. President as a client because Ronald Reagan wanted to help someone starting out in business. Bernie Swain lets his clients see him as a person. You could argue that’s a linchpin of his success.
The people you sell to and work with are professionals. Nonetheless, they are also human. When they experience you as a human too, you have the opportunity to create a bond that no marketing materials can ever create. You can forge business relationships that will last a lifetime.
Communication is the essential last mile in finding and motivating the right teams, acquiring strong allies, powerfully bonding with customers, and capturing mindshare with compelling stories. Nothing will serve you and your vision better than developing exceptional communication skills