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How do others hear your story?

Storytelling is one of the most important skills you can have as a founder.  You tell stories to investors, customers, potential new hires, the press and partners.  The key to telling a good story, and what I find most often lacking, is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  

Who is this person and what about this story are they going to care about?  

You can, and should, tell the story of your business a hundred different ways if you're telling it to a hundred different types of people.  An investor wants to understand how this is going to make them rich.  A potential hire wants to understand why this is going to be a cool place to work.  A reporter needs this article to turn into pageviews.  Every line in your story needs to be delivered with that context in mind. 

Key to that is realizing your role.  When you get into a pitch meeting, it isn't a press conference.  It's a campfire.  The story doesn't move forward based on the questions from the audience--bobbing and weaving at the whim of the investor.  It moves because you move it.  You're walking them through, telling the story that you know will excite them.  You need well timed exclamations, pauses--it's a production, not an inquisition.  You drive.  I want to get taken for the ride of my life.  All day, people send me boring stuff--be the most exciting thing I've seen today.  Be the thing I can't wait to tell my significant other about.

If you're not literally imagining this investor opening the door to their place and tripping over themselves to tell their significant other about your company, then you're never going to capture your attention.  You need to understand why that particular person will get excited about what you're doing.  A good storyteller tailors to their audience and knows what will excite and delight them.  


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