Make it Real

Pick the right level of detail to build a connection with your audience and you’ll make it real for them.

We talked recently about storytelling, and how it’s an important skill for anyone in a leadership position. It’s a great way to get better at presenting to people and having the ideas stick in their minds.

Finding the right level is a key ingredient to great storytelling. You are making it concrete, which is a key part of the stickiness. If something is too big, vague or disconnected, then it won’t resonate and it’ll quickly be forgotten.

It’s particularly important when you are connecting the big company ideas to the activities that your team needs to undertake. It’s great to know that a major initiative will secure a significant success at the corporate level, but these things take time to come about.

A year into the effort, an appeal to this large goal may just stir a dim memory of a flashy exhortation relating to shareholder value, but is just as likely to feel like a top down directive that doesn’t engender buy-in.

Instead, think about the specific effort you’re looking for from the team, and the concrete value it will create. Refer to the big goal, but tie it in to your own efforts. What specific outcomes will you achieve, how does that help?

“We have to do this for the big initiative” is not a good way to make it real. “We’re going to deliver a great new product that doubles the number of subscribers and will contribute a quarter of the revenue goal of the big initiative” is a much better way to connect up the efforts at the right level of detail.

Put in the effort to make it real, you’ll find your connections are stronger, your team gets the why and they strive for success.

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