Storytelling has become a business buzzword and while it may eventually rank up there with KPI, elevator speech and core competency as an annoying concepts that fade with whims and fashions, the idea is solid. Create a good story and you will connect emotionally with the listener. We often speak in bullet points (I am especially guilty of this as I need to practice patience in my own life) about what we do and why we do it, but a story is more compelling.
I was out to lunch with a lovely young associate attorney who was lamenting the fact that he felt awkward at client functions and bar association parties. I reassured him that most people felt awkward at first, but it took practice, but he didn’t believe me because everyone at this functions looked so polished. To give him an example, I told him about growing up as a military kid and always being a new kid in school, over and over again. I had to learn to put the fear of being not being accepted into the crowd and just try to connect with one person. I found that with practice, I actually could find something to talk about with almost anyone. I reminded him that I am still slightly afraid when I enter a room of unknown people. This associate visibly relaxed when he realized that he wasn’t alone in his fears and the art of conversation and connection just took practice. A good story can take the scare factor of out something that might be quite frightening, like marketing your own practice.