Every month I write an article for Gift Focus Magazine around a question they have been asked by their readers.

You can see their full magazine by clicking on this image.

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This month's question was:

Q.   I sometimes struggle to get my message across and to influence others … how can I improve?

You can read my answer below ... do you agree?

Happy New Year!



A.   I am sure we can all relate to this, but I am also sure that we all have times when we do influence others very well … and what’s the difference?

A number of large businesses have been looking into how they influence their customers and the power of ‘story-telling’ is now well proven as a successful technique.

Take one look at the John Lewis Christmas advertisement last year … or the BBC Children in Need campaign. Whether you like them or agree with them is a separate point … but both will have engaged you. The chances are these stories did stir your imagination, touch your feelings and will have influenced you to do something. Did you start feeling Christmassy? Did it make you want to buy some meaningful presents? Did you dig deep to donate or want to do something to help? Or did you simply share these stories with others?

What both these examples have in common is the power of story-telling. Stories can change the way you think, can inspire you and change opinions. These both clearly had an objective and desired outcome in mind.

Think about how you go about influencing others, whether this is on a personal level or for your business. How can you turn your own message into a story that paints a picture for the person or people you are trying to influence?

We do not have to be a top BBC presenter to use story-telling, but we do need to think about what result we want. Words and images can then create a story to engage others and like a good book or a great film, people want to stay to the end to find out more.

Why not try to introduce story-telling into the way you communicate to get your message across … it may surprise you how people want to listen and, as they find their own way to relate to your story, will get involved.