This is a repost from Preparing Business for Business.
Male: Preparing business for business is on the air. Join hosts Marcia Hawkins, president of the New York Shop Exchange and Kyle Clouse, vice president for insightful and creative strategies to prepare your business for business. Listen in for great guests and great offers from our guests and sponsors, as well thought-provoking dialogue. Preparing Business for Business offers usable content, insightful ideas and resources to jumpstart your business in an effective, economical manner and to prepare your business for growth and challenges. And now, your hosts for Preparing Business for Business, Marcia Hawkins and Kyle Clouse.
Marcia Hawkins: Good evening and welcome to the Business Preparing for Business radio program on the Preparedness Radio Network. I’m Marcia Hawkins along with my cohost Kyle Clouse. Today is Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and we wish to recognize that today is Pearl Harbor Day and we’d like to thank our vets and active military on this somber anniversary yet commemorative day in our country’s history.
We welcome you and want to thank you for joining us here every Wednesday evening where we take an informative look at how we can help you prepare your business for business. We have great ideas and helpful information for you along with exciting guests and informative commentary. Now our true focus and our goal each week, we wish to provide you with mind expanding thoughts and helpful resources you need to either start a business, grow your existing business or to offer up solutions for you in these challenging times that we’re all facing.
So now let’s bring on my cohost, Kyle Clouse. How are you doing, Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: Good, very good. I am very excited to be here with you Marcia and I mean, as we’ve evolved this show, Preparing Business for Business, it’s really great to see the quality of guests we’ve had on the show and the content that we’ve been able to provide. It’s really exciting.
Marcia Hawkins: Oh, it sure is and I’m excited that we were able to do a back-to-back with Ty Bennett who is the founder of Leadership Inc. I invite all our listeners to go over to his website, it’s quite interesting. Last week our topic of conversation was The Power of Influence and again you can get his book, The Power of Influence at LeadershipInc.com. That’s LeadershipInc.com.
But this week, we’ve decided to take a new slant, a little different direction and we’re going to talk about storytelling which is I must say, I don’t think that anybody can truly appreciate the art of storytelling until you’ve been asked to public speak. And I know for many people that I’ve interviewed, a lot of people that I’ve spoken to, they will say that that’s probably one of their number one fear and a lot of people don’t even recognize the fear of public speaking until they’re thrown into it. And they get taken by surprise because people, I don’t think understand about standing up in front of an audience and all of a sudden it’s like, “Oh well, this isn’t what I bargained for!” But it’s very interesting because I do believe storytelling, you know, it takes on a couple of different twists and turns and a lot of people really don’t recognize the art of storytelling.
So, can you just give our listeners a nice, little background update on Ty? And then we’ll get started and bring him on board.
Kyle Clouse: Yes. So I’ve actually been to a couple of events where Ty has spoken and he’s very eloquent. In fact I’ll start off – let me start off with a quote by Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar and this is what he said about Ty and this really epitomizes Ty Bennett and his ability to connect and just his ability as a public speaker. But Peter Vidmar said, “It is rare to find a speaker that has built a multimillion dollar business at such a young age. Ty has energy, experience and wisdom beyond his years and he is a great speaker, one you won’t forget.” And I just really think that that epitomizes Ty Bennett and who he is. Now Ty…
Marcia Hawkins: What did I tell you last week about him? I said you don’t hear his words, you feel them.
Kyle Clouse: Exactly and he is able to make that connection with people. I have another – well, we both have his audio CD, The Power of Belief and that’s when I first came in contact with Ty but he is really able to make that connection with his audience and definitely something we’re going to be talking about tonight and getting some great insights from Ty on how he’s able to make those connections and things that we can do to also make those connections with our audience.
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah, it’s really funny because I must say, as I said on last week’s program that I keep his CDs in my car all the time and I listen to them all the time. I’ve always, always – I’m going to wear them out actually but what’s interesting about them is I always – I can be in the worst mood and I could turn on his program and listen to it and I instantly feel lifted. And I believe that that correlates exactly with the topic of tonight’s show which is the power of storytelling. Because his intent is to make you feel better for listening to his CDs and mission accomplished.
So without further ado let’s say hello to Ty. Good evening, Ty!
Ty Bennett: Good evening. Thanks so much for having me back. It was fun last week and I’m excited to be here again.
Marcia Hawkins: Oh, terrific. I know we got lots of questions we want to talk with you about. So let’s really get right into it because I know last time we probably could’ve kept going on and on and on and I want to make sure we cover everything tonight. Can you give us a little background on your feelings about storytelling and why you feel compelled to get this message out?
Ty Bennett: Absolutely. I think it’s great what you said, Marcia, in the introduction as you start to talk about it because it’s true as a speaker if you’re ever in a – being put in front of a group or whether that’s small or large, it really doesn’t make a difference. When it comes to public speaking, for sure, storytelling is a big piece but I want you to recognize the fact that we are all in the people business and we are all communicators and we are involved in selling as entrepreneurs as many people are on the phone, you are involved in leadership where you need to communicate your vision and your company and your direction, your mission, what you’re doing whether that be with your employees or the potential clients, vendors whoever it may be.
If you are involved in any teaching capacity even if that’s just as a parent, I mean, think about the best way to teach your kids lessons are through stories. I believe that storytelling is the most influential form of communication and I believe it is for several reasons but the biggest of which is that we’re all emotional creatures. I mean we’ve heard the saying and we all probably understand that people buy based on emotion and when you think about that, people take – the truth is people take action on emotion. And so if you are communicating a message that you want to – you want them to take action on whether that’s a vision as a leader or that’s a product you want them to buy or it’s a concept that you want them to learn and to implement, in any of those capacities, storytelling and being able to communicate your message more clearly, more concisely and more persuasively, storytelling, the art of it when you can master that is a huge technique and skill set that really will make you more influential.
Marcia Hawkins: Absolutely. I’m going to kind of ask you a trick question. I hope it’s okay but I know you are – but I’ve always said, whether it’s in a business relationship, whether it’s with your husband or your wife, sister, brother, whatever, I’ve always found that sometimes the direct message is not as well received as the ones that you kind of knock at the back door with. And what I mean by that is sometimes when you pound on the front door and, “I’ve got something to tell you” and “This is what I need to tell you right now,” unfortunately, it is not absorbed. And I’ve always found that at times you can communicate better by kind of slipping in the side door or quietly in the back door.
And so, my trick question for you is do you ever feel you can storytell without words?
Ty Bennett: Yes, I think that you can. I mean, I think your example tells a great story. You think about the leadership capacity, your actions tell a great story. There’s a great quote, kind of famous quote that says, “Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it,” and that kind of placed to what you were just saying in the fact that you don’t necessarily have to spell it out intentionally.
When you think about just last week, we talked about being influential and one of the ways that you do that in reaching out in service to other people, when people see you serving they see those actions, they can definitely see your story in action. So yeah, I think you can definitely tell a story without having to physically tell it. But I think – it’s kind of an interesting question because I’m trying to think of specific examples. But regardless of whether you tell a story or you live a story, I think that it does bring that emotion that really engages people.
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah. I really subscribe to that because sometimes, I think my actions and my demonstrations and just certain ways that I carry my life, I really feel that I do try to influence people that way. And sometimes I feel that it’s better received than you know, one-on-one conversations.
So let’s bring Kyle in here. I know he’s got some questions for you, too. Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: Oh yeah, absolutely. Great conversation going on. Ty, I think that it’s important that we go back to last week a little bit when we talked about the power of influence and being an influencer. Now can you just touch upon what an influencer is and how that applies to being a storyteller?
Ty Bennett: Yeah, I believe with the people that I work with as I speak and as I’ve written books and come out with different programs and things, I kind of classify the people I speak to as influencers and I define that as anyone involved in speaking, selling, leading or teaching. In essence, if you’re in business, in the people business, you’re an influencer because you want to or are influencing people around you.
And so in the last week we talked about it and the underlying principle behind influence, which is also the underlying principle behind storytelling, is that it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. If you want to be influential, you need to figure out how to make it about the other person and not about your own agenda because people act in their own self-interest and so we need to be able to help them move in the direction that they’re looking for.
Now as it pertains to storytelling and communication, the same principle holds true. It’s not about you as the storyteller, it’s about your audience who’s hearing the story, whether that’s an audience of one or an audience of 1000, people really don’t care about your story because that’s just focused on you trying to look great. But if you can show them how your story impacts them and how it pertains to their life, then it can be extremely influential. So I think the same principle holds true and if we are to tie that together, last week we talked about some real practical ways to be influential and today, we’ll dive into the practical tool of communication that you can be influential with.
Kyle Clouse: Oh, very good. Very good. You know, in follow-up to that, if you turn on the TV and you see a lot of what’s going on especially since we are in this political arena right now, there’s a lot of people out there that everyone’s looking at the credibility and if someone’s credible or not. So how can we use storytelling to build credibility?
Ty Bennett: Well, I think that – a couple things. Number one, when you approach telling a story or communicating and I don’t want it to be – sound like you know, you’re going to tell those great, elaborate stories. Sometimes it’s just a simple thing that you’re bringing a little bit of human nature into your message, you’re humanizing your message with a story so that it’s not just facts and figures that people don’t engage with. Because your goal if it’s about your audience, you need to engage them which means that you need to involve them, you need to make them part, you need to get them to buy into what you are saying and that really hangs on a balance.
What I teach is that credibility is important. It’s one half of the equation because it’s a balance. You have to balance credibility and relatability. If you can tell great stories, if you can communicate a great message, you can build up your own credibility because of the way that you communicate. But you also have to be relatable, you have to connect with the people that you’re talking to. When you take a look at that from that standpoint, I mean, you just mentioned politics, that is one of the key balances that every politician is trained to find. You have to see them as credible because if you don’t see them as credible, you’re not going to care about their message. You’re not going to look at it and say, “You know, that’s somebody I could really vote for.” But if you don’t seem as relatable, if you don’t connect in some way, then you don’t – they struggle to get that connection and therefore win you over as a candidate as well.
I mean, take for example, the Republican race that’s going on, one of the knocks against Mitt Romney has always been that he’s very credible but he’s not very relatable. He comes across a little bit too perfect. You know, it sounds funny to say but that’s in the knock on Mitt Romney. In fact, I have a friend who was helped with his campaign from that standpoint and helping some of his speechwriting to make him a little bit more relatable to the U.S. population.
So when you look at that balance, if you can communicate in a way where you can find credibility and relatability then you can really be influential.
Kyle Clouse: So storytelling helps us or – let me rephrase that, storytelling helps our audience to relate to us?
Ty Bennett: Relate to us and to our message. You know, you think about the oldest form of learning, the oldest form of communication that exists in the world is storytelling. And so over time before the written word, people told stories through oral narrative and because of that, over time our minds have been genetically programmed to learn through stories. And storytelling, when you tell a great story, it engages both sides of the brain. It’s not just talking about facts and figures and those things that engages the emotional, creative side of the brain on the right side of the brain and so it gets people’s full engagement in that regard. But there are studies that show that people remember stories much longer than they remember facts and figures. They’re – it increases the emotional engagement which increases the motivation and the willingness to take action and so storytelling allows us to connect to and influence anybody that we’re talking to on a much more powerful way.
Marcia Hawkins: Well, that’s interesting when you started to veer off the cliff with politics, I thought, “Oh boy, were going to need a couple of hours for this.” And when you started to talk about a politician talking and their story and if you can connect with them, you may not care what they’re saying I’m like, “Wow, is this applicable sometimes.” But yeah, yeah. It’s really funny…
Ty Bennett: Yeah, that’s for sure. If you’re watching the debates I mean, you look at it and go – and really, you can look at it from one side and there’s some people I would look at and say, “You know what, he’s got some bright ideas but I really don’t like him,” you know. So incredibly, he’s not relatable. There’s some people that I’m like, “You know, he’s kind of fun to be with but he is a dufus when it comes to his political standpoint so I just don’t agree with him.” You have to find that balance.
Marcia Hawkins: That is so important and it’s going to lead me, it’s going to segue me in to another question but a little bit of commentary on that. What is so interesting about that is, as you are saying, I was going to bring up the debates because they really say that in a debate, they look for that defining moment that everybody remembers.
And I’ll – just a couple off the top of my head, when Ronald Reagan was debating Walter Mondale and he asked him about – the moderator asked him whether or not he believed that his age was going to be a factor in the election and Ronald Reagan quipped right back so fast, “I am not going to make his youth and inexperience part of this campaign,” which is of course the place was up for grabs after that. And that is one that I will never ever forget.
It’s really funny because I almost feel as though that they – you know, the debates have a couple of different agendas on them but I really do think that it is a way of kind of allowing the voters to see how they handle the pressure when questions get fired at them. And it’s really interesting to watch the ones that can really rise to the occasion and really stand on their principles and get their message across and other ones where you might see them on a one-on-one interview and they articulate very, very well. But when it comes down to the debates they do terrible. I mean look at Rick Perry, I mean, he just completely.
Ty Bennett: Rick Perry has been quoted because of that, yeah.
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But what that segues into my next question is do you feel that – and it kind of wraps into public speaking but do you feel that one’s self-confidence really allows their ability to storytell, good or bad?
Ty Bennett: I think it definitely has a huge factor in that and so I think that that’s an underlying principle that it makes the difference because it comes across in the way that you communicate. I mean, you think about sometimes, you’ve heard people communicate and they come across as strong and confident and other times they come across as unsure and timid and not – they just don’t present in a powerful way.
Now when I say that, there’s a caveat to that because I think that authenticity comes across in storytelling more than just being bold and confident in that regard. And so the fact that you don’t have to sound like this powerful, you know, Martin Luther King giving a speech. That’s not what I’m saying because everybody has a different voice. But you do need to have a confidence in the way that you say things. Now the way that you might say things Marcia and your confidence is going to sound different than I do or Rick Perry or anybody else. But yeah, confidence definitely plays a difference because people can feel that and they buy into it.
Marcia Hawkins: Absolutely.
Kyle Clouse: Absolutely. As I’m listening to you speak about storytelling, it reminds me of a couple things: campfires, my grandpa and really – you know, experiences in my life where I’ve had the opportunity to connect with someone on a heart-to-heart level. And it sounds like that that’s the message you’re trying to get across is that through storytelling, where it will really connect on a deeper level, otherwise – that we otherwise would not have been able to and it also just to relate to the audience or the listeners of the show. You know, I think about if I’m in church and I’m listening to the speaker, or the person giving the talk at church, or whoever that is, if someone is just – I’ll use the frame you know, something – the Bible, you know, it really doesn’t connect with me but when someone tells life experiences, life stories and then relates that into what their message is, that’s what’s really connects with me.
Ty Bennett: And I’ll add to that, Kyle, I think that’s true and I like to say that stories humanize your message. And I think this is a good thing to think about. Marcia, you brought up earlier that people are afraid of public speaking which you know, it’s – Jerry Seinfeld has that great quote that it’s the number one fear. And even more so than death so people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy at that funeral. And the truth is, there are a lot of people who are afraid of it but here is something that I think has really helped people that I’ve talked to. If you buy into the idea that your focus is on your audience so it’s really not about you and you’re focused on them and how you can help them.
Marcia Hawkins: Is this where we imagine them with no clothes on?
Ty Bennett: No, no. I think that hurts your cause, that’s my own personal opinion – but I think one thing that helps is the problem that most people have is their goal for a presentation is perfection and here’s the truth. No, perfection does not happen. I have given speeches to audiences of 15,000 people. I’ve given speeches to Fortune 500 companies. I’ve sold to people one-on-one, I’ve done radio shows like this all over the place. Perfection never happens. But if you change your goal from perfection to connection, then you can really achieve something because regardless of if it’s perfect, if you make a connection, if you make it about them, that it makes up for all the imperfections that take place.
Marcia Hawkins: That’s a good point because when you think about the debates and I had to keep going back to politics but that’s very true and that relates to what Kyle said earlier in terms of being able to connect with the church sermon if you will, when Kyle said, when it’s authentic and it’s a story, he tends to engage and listen in as opposed to someone just up there and you’re not able to connect with that person.
And in a debate it’s the same thing, they are so focused on being perfect that they really – they micromanage it in their minds almost and it doesn’t allow for your authenticity to come through when you’re conveying your message, that’s very, very true.
Kyle Clouse: And you can see…
Marcia Hawkins: Go ahead.
Kyle Clouse: I was just going to say while you’re on that vein, Marcia, and you can notice that, not to beat the politics but you can recognize that. You know that Michelle Bachmann talking about how many children she’s raised and the foster children and just trying to connect to the mothers on that level and trying to tell that story of her life, I guess that’s what she believes in politics.
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah, like in the debates if you watch, like certain people when you hit a chord with them, you know. You got John McCain talking about his military service, he shines. He shines. It’s the conviction in him. And I think it goes back to exactly what Ty said. And I know the first time that I had to do public speaking it was actually – it was kind of ironic because we have Ty on but I did Nu Skin several, several decades ago when Nu Skin first got going. And I just thought that the products were the best products I’d ever used in my entire life. And I would get in and be able to stand up and I could talk a blue streak about those products because I just love them.
So well, I got to take quick break here, just going to be a quick break. We got to highlight our sponsors, we want to make sure we mention the Berkey Guy and Lehmans.com.
This is Business Preparing you for Business on the Preparedness Radio Network. I’m Marcia Hawkins along with the Kyle Clouse. Please stop by and visit us at newyorkshopexchange.com and thank you for allowing us to help your business prepare for business. We’ll be right back.
Alrighty, everybody. Welcome back and thank you for our sponsors, we got to pay a couple of bills there and now, we’re going to get back to our program. We are on with the Ty Bennett. This is a Marcia Hawkins along with Kyle Clouse on the Business Preparing for Business Radio Network.
So before our break we were talking about public speaking and being authentic and being able to connect with your audience and I must say, I was giving you a brief overview about my first experience with public speaking and I must say that I think one of the things that really, really helps is that when you have a passion I guess, that’s my buzzword this week but when you have the passion for what you’re trying to communicate about, what you’re – the story you’re trying to tell, if you will, when you have that passion woven into your being, if you will, public speaking comes so much easier.
I mean, you could find people that may have a little trepidation about public speaking but you get them on something. I mean, talk about a mother talking about her children. I mean, I could go on for days about that ad nauseam but it’s very – in my opinion, it’s very, very one of the integral parts of the storytelling is to really have a complete knowledge of what you’re talking about and a complete passion for what you’re talking about. Would you agree with that, Ty?
Ty Bennett: Absolutely. You know, in fact, the word passion actually originated at the time of Christ and it means being willing to suffer for something you love and you know, I think it’s interesting when you think of the fact that so many people have a fear of public speaking. It’s like suffering to them but they’re willing to overcome it if they’re really passionate about something, they don’t really think about it.
And for passion, it drives you. It makes you takes action and you eliminate fear or any stumbling block that may be in your way and you have a message that you want to share. So for sure, passion definitely helps you get your message out.
Kyle Clouse: Oh, it’s interesting that you bring up passion coming back from the days of Christ and suffering for something that you love because it’s been my experience that being passionate about something has always come at the expense and I say expense but actuall,y it’s a benefit of suffering for something you’re having to go through something and then that event or that – or what I’m passionate about becomes a part of me.
Ty Bennett: That’s for sure, it molds you for sure.
Kyle Clouse: Ty, now you referred to this a little bit earlier in the show about the mindset of an influencer. Can you describe a little bit about the mindset of an influencer?
Ty Bennett: I think we touched on this but you know, the focus is always on your audience. And if you’re focused on the audience then your purpose as influencer, your purpose is to engage that audience. And I want you to think about what that means to engage.
You know really, if you look it up, the word engagement means to grab their attention and to make them part, to bring them into it. And so I know that there’s a lot of people, as business people who are involved in a sales process of some sort and I think all too often we don’t recognize that we’re involved in the sales process that we’re involved in speaking or teaching or something but we are always selling some kind of message. And I believe that for engagement to happen, we need to move away from giving presentations and having conversations.
And what I mean by that is that you know, presentation by definition is a monologue, it’s one person talking. And a lot of times a sales presentation would go something like me talking over and over and over and Kyle, at the end I would say, “You have any questions?” And there is no engagement in that, it doesn’t really bring you in, it doesn’t make you part and because of that, I very rarely get you to take action. But if I can create engagement and I don’t just mean through conversation because that can be part of it. You know, you may have a question answered but when I have an audience of 1000 people I can’t have a conversation with every individual but I can have engagement. I can ask questions to give them to think. I can cause them to laugh. Humor’s a great form of engagement if you can cause somebody to respond. If you can cause somebody to react just through shock or amazement or anything to your message, if you can bring a motion into it, you can cause engagement.
So ultimately we want to engage those people. We want to balance that credibility and relability and that’s what I really mean with the mindset is the approach to your communication really determines whether that’s going to be influential or not.
Kyle Clouse: Very good. As you’re actually talking about presentations to conversations, I was going to ask a question. I noticed on – you have some free online courses at influencethroughstories.com or some free online video tutorials and I was going over those and watching those and I was watching you as you’re – in my mind you were telling a story. And as you were telling the story, you would pause and then ask a question. Now even though you’re talking to an audience that cannot respond to you because it’s all via the web and through video, you were still asking a question and trying to get that engagement with your listening audience or getting us to ask the questions of ourself that you were asking. And I thought that was a very, very powerful.
Where do you find the happy medium? Like when you’re asking an audience a – and I guess it depends on what you are talking about but when you’re asking an audience a question, where do you find that happy medium? How many questions do you ask or when do you ask those questions? Or is it just kind of a natural flow in the cycle of your storytelling?
Ty Bennett: Well, I think that a couple of things: number one, overall, you need to develop a conversational voice. And that for me is part of my conversational voice. When I speak, I ask questions. Whether they’re rhetorical or actually want an answer depends more on the side of my audience than anything else but I want people to stop and think. I want to get people to engage in the content of what I’m sharing and so I’m going to ask some questions. Ultimately, they’re a tool to bring people into the story as it is storytelling, and there’s a couple of tools that I teach. Asking questions, specifically you-focused questions is a great way to do that. I’ll tell you one way to get start that process because you asked about that technique, is instead of just starting a story, if I were to start a story and I were to just say, “Let me tell you about my experience with goalsetting,” for example. You know, the truth is, in your mind and everyone’s mind, they don’t care about your experience. They really don’t care about your story unless they know how it pertains to them. So a great way to bring the audience into that communication, into that story and engage them is to ask a you-focused question on the front end of the story.
So Kyle, let me ask you something like you know, “Kyle, what stops you from achieving your goal? I mean, and really Kyle, just think, what comes to mind when asked you that question? What stops you from achieving your goal?”
Kyle Clouse: I feel like I’m on..
Marcia Hawkins: Want me to talk about that? No, I’m just kidding.
Kyle Clouse: Yeah, Marcia can answer that. No, I think for myself, what stops me from achieving my goal is that I’m a very – I like to have a control of a lot of things and I juggle a lot of things at the same time and I think sometimes it gets in the way of that.
Ty Bennett: So, you’re juggling too many things and sometimes a matter of focus is that what you’re saying?
Kyle Clouse: Right.
Ty Bennett: Okay, I know. I totally get that. I mean for me when I was 21 years old and boom, I just had a perfect segue to tell you a story that brought you into it because it was about you and what you were going through. Does that make sense? If you can ask a question and make it conversational, even if you didn’t respond to that if I would ask that question, it kind of intrigues you, engages you and then I can bring into the story. That’s just a simple technique but it’s turning that presentation into a conversation and really making the audience part.
Kyle Clouse: So even though the story is about you, you’re making the story about me?
Ty Bennett: Well, if my goal is to make it about my audience, then my story has to be about you and if you learn how to tell a great story and you tell it the right way, in the end, the audience doesn’t feel like your story is about me and my experience or about whoever I’m telling the story about, they are going, “That story is about me. That was – I mean, that story was – he was describing me and my situation and I feel empowered by that.” That’s what you want. That’s when you know that your story really hit home and know that it’s influential.
Marcia Hawkins: Well that’s interesting but I do need to interject and tell you that Kyle does accomplish a lot of things.
Ty Bennett: Oh, I know.
Marcia Hawkins: He has laser focus. I’m probably the reason he gets off-track sometimes because I’ll call him up and I’ll be downloading on him, “Kyle, help me with this!” And we – because Kyle and I work so closely together, we are in constant communication and we troubleshoot so much between ourselves and we try to problem solve, if you will. But just to set the record straight. What’s that?
Kyle Clouse: I know. I would just…
Ty Bennett: Kyle, I know that you are very productive. I know you’re very productive and I was just using that as a general example but you’re a go-getter for sure.
Kyle Clouse: I was just going to say if my – my biggest challenge is that my pen does not move as fast as Marcia’s mind does. If I could just speed that up, I would be in good standing.
Marcia Hawkins: No kidding, Ty. I will call him and say, “Okay. Well, how about if I shoot 50 videos, do the intros,” and I’ll bet he’s like, I know he’s just scratching his head thinking, “Oh please, where is her downshift?” You know? That’s too funny, I know that’s too funny.
Ty Bennett: There are worse problems to have for sure.
Marcia Hawkins: Exactly. But I do want to engage our listeners a little bit here and how we can apply this to preparing your business. And one of the things that I want to talk about is the storytelling between a business owner and their customer and their employees. And how much of their personal story and how much of their personal mission for their business should be really out there for either their employees or their customers? Do you find that it helps the business owner? Or maybe it kind of sets the wrong tone? Any comment on that?
Ty Bennett: Let me address that in a couple of ways: number one, there are several ways that you’re going to tell that story. Obviously, you’re going to communicate that over the phone and in person as you have meetings. You’re going to communicate that through text and video in your website and so you have to find the balance in some of those things.
When you’re telling a story especially, there is a specific model that I teach that an influential story has a struggle to solution model. And the struggle to solution model really is the fact that your business exists to solve a problem. Your business exists to create a solution, right? And so part of that is identifying what those problems are and being able to tell your story in the way where you connect with the person because the struggle is relatable. And if the struggle is relatable, than the solution will become credible.
Marcia Hawkins: I’m going to have you call everyone on my team because I have really – I talk about that all the time. I didn’t mean to interrupt you, I just had to – really, I’m completely relating to what you’re saying.
Ty Bennett: And so the problem that most of us have in communicating our business, our products or whatever it is, is that we are not really – we’re just trying to sell just the product and the feature, not the benefits of it. And we are not relating to the individual. And so if we cannot be real and identify what the problems or the struggles were, whether they’re for ourselves as a leader or they are for a problem that we saw in other people and we created the products for it or that’s why we started the business or whatever it is, if you can craft that struggle to solution story in a way that connects with your employees, that connects with your prospects and shows the benefits of what you give to the market then absolutely, that story needs to be told over and over and over again because that’s what’s going to influence people in your direction.
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah, that is such a great point. I know that when you go to any website or mostly websites just because it’s more applicable here, but when you go to someone’s website, one of the first things I do is I click on the “About Us” and they really give you their story. And how their website and their business evolved and it’s really interesting, some people let’s face it, are better storytellers than others and I think sometimes – and I think you really struck a chord with me when you talked about really making the story connectable with that audience, so to speak.
And being able to really get your message across and I really find sometimes that – Kyle, you know we’ve had this conversation how many times and I’ve said, if my team could convey the three fundamental challenges of why I built New York Shop Exchange, I know that their audience is going to respond because I know that I’m not unique in terms of business. The challenges that I experience, I know for a fact that every other small business out there was experiencing the same kinds of problem.
And it’s so funny sometimes I’ll get these e-mails and I’ll get these phone calls or I’ll be talking with a potential client and you listen to them and I think, “Oh you know what, it’s all the same.” Everybody struggles with the same challenges and it’s just amazing to me that really, you could read the About Us and really, the common denominator with most businesses is that they identified that problem and found a way to solve it so that’s such a great point to make, Ty. I’m really happy that you brought that up.
Ty Bennett: And so to add to that Marcia and your particular situation, if you’ve identified three main challenges or problems, if your people who are out there talking to other business owners can develop that conversational tone and can ask those people, you know, “Do you ever face this issue? Is this something that you ever struggle with?” And they can learn to tell that story and that person connects with it and say, “Marcia Hawkins, the reason she came up with this concept is really because she was facing those same issues and they can learn to tell that story.” Boom, that’s magic because you connect with that struggle.
I like to say you hook them with a struggle and you help them with a solution.
Marcia Hawkins: I love that.
Ty Bennett: If they can really buy into that, if it hooks them and be strong enough and they feel like that’s relatable to them and you help them with that solution it becomes credible and that’s exactly what they’re looking for.
Marcia Hawkins: Two points on that. I love your comments on it. One of the things that I wonder sometimes is because they were my struggles and not my team’s struggle that maybe it’s not a little relatable, if you will. And on the flip side to that, I often wonder if the challenges – the three quick challenges are that website building is great but it’s really difficult and I know people listening would say, “Oh yeah, don’t tell me about someone building my website.” It’s very difficult sometimes to get –somebody build you a website in a short amount of time. And even if you are able to accomplish that and somebody builds you a beautiful website, it costs a lot of money.
And the worst part about it is that by the time to get that website done, most of the information because the Internet everything happens in a – you know, what used to take 30 days now takes 30 seconds, a lot of that information is obsolete at that point. So now you have that challenge, which is of course where the video comes in. And then the third piece of that is, “Well great, I have this big beautiful site that I paid gobs and gobs of money for, how do I market it?” Just because you’re a web designer doesn’t make you a marketer. And so hence, that’s what evolved New York Shop Exchange.
But as I said, it’s been my challenges, it’s not necessarily my team’s challenge. That’s one little fly swimming in the ointment and the second piece of that is, is that I wonder sometimes and maybe you can you know, and this is a little off track but I’d love your insight on it. Do you feel sometimes that sometimes people don’t want to admit what their challenges are?
Ty Bennett: Yes, so I will address that in a couple of ways. First, the last question you asked. Yes. People are afraid to talk about a struggle. I’ll tell you how you make them feel like they can, is you have to talk about yours. That’s what most people don’t do, is when we share our stories, we don’t share our struggle to solution story. We share a solution story, we share triumph, we talk about how great we are and we’re not ever real about some of the challenges that we face and the things that we had to overcome. And when we are real and we’re vulnerable and we’re authentic a little bit, it allows other people to be the exact same thing.
And so I think that becomes part of – that sounds, that flies in the face of maybe everything that most salespeople has ever learned. But you have to realize that you are trying to make a human connection. You’re not trying to sell a product, you’re trying to make a human connection. If you buy into the idea that business is about relationship, which I really do, then people buy from you because they know like, they trust you and so you have to open up so they can know you and begin to like you and trust you. And so that becomes a piece of it.
Number two, you can share other people’s stories but you have to learn how to personalize it. So yes, there are some of your salespeople who are sharing your story in terms of how you developed the company because you faced some of those issues. But they have to personalize it and they can personalize it through their client’s experience. You know, if they start to tell your story and they can make that connection just giving the example we were using before of maybe some of the challenges you faced, if they can share some of the triumphs that they’ve had with other clients and what you’ve been able to do for them, it’s more personal to them because they were involved in that process. And so they can share that a little bit easier from that standpoint.
But you can share other people’s experiences in a powerful way, you just have to make it as personal as possible because the more personal your experience becomes, the more powerful it is because you bring that passion piece into what you talked about earlier.
Marcia Hawkins: Right. That’s great, Ty. Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: Yeah, absolutely. What I was thinking about Ty, was as we talked about storytelling and how powerful they can be and how they help us to connect with our audience, you know, somebody listening in on this call, where do we start.
Ty Bennett: Well, I’ll give you a great resource that you can start with and you mentioned it earlier, if you go to the websiteinfluencethroughstories.com. You just put in your name and e-mail, I have a three free videos, they’re all I don’t know, 20 or so minutes of great content. I have a more in-depth video training program that you can purchase if you really want to dive into it. But you can start there with those three videos and really start to learn the art of it. But ultimately as a communicator, you have to go out and practice. And as you learn some of these techniques you have to go out and start communicating, maybe you roleplay with your husband or wife and then you take it out to a prospect or your employer, whoever it may be. But I don’t know of a way to make you an incredible communicator other than to work on your communication through doing it.
Kyle Clouse: One thing, Ty and this was, gosh, this had to be two years ago and you may or may not remember. But the first time that I listened to your CD, The Power Of Belief, I reached out and I sent you an e-mail and I asked you. I said, “What if I want to become a better speaker or communicator, where do I go? How do I do that? How do I find opportunities to speak out?” And you mentioned, I can’t remember off the top of my head what it is but I think that they have these meetings or these events nationwide. Does that ring a bell for you?
Ty Bennett: Yeah, it was the place to learn public speaking, I believe I referred to this as toastmasters, Toastmasters International. It’s a very nominal fee but you get a chance to go in a safe environment and to learn the art of public speaking. That’s a great way you can do it in a very affordable way.
There’s a lot of other organizations that teach public speaking. I coach speakers and things like that and there’s a lot of people out there who do it and have video and audio programs that teach the same process. But it came from that same reason. I’ve had several people just like you, Kyle, who have asked me, how do you learn this and/or have people come to me and say can you teach me how you learn how to speak? And so that’s just evolved from that standpoint for me to really personalize and define the specifics on how you tell a great story, how you communicate a powerful message.
Kyle Clouse: So is this – has this been natural for you to be an effective communicator? Or have you gone through some learning curves and some struggles to get to the point where you’re at now?
Ty Bennett: I think I was inclined to it but I have definitely gone through my fair share of struggles and failures to learn the process just like everybody else does.
Marcia Hawkins: Unfortunately, we are out of time but I do want to make sure that I give a huge heartfelt thanks to Ty Bennett for being with us the last two weeks. Please visit him at leadershipinc.com and also you can access three free videos that teach storytelling at influencethroughstories.com and if you need a public speaker, inspirational speaker, I highly recommend you grab Ty for that event. Your audience will feel Ty’s words, not hear them.
So as I said we are out of time. Unfortunate but we will be back next week. We are here every Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. We want to thank you so much for listening and we also of course want to thank our sponsors and of course our guest, Ty Bennett.
This was an uplifting and informative preparative show. We sure hope you’ll visit us at NewYorkShopExchange.com and get your business moving with the power of video with your own video business channel. We look forward to sharing an hour of you next Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and again, thank you so much. I’m Marcia Hawkins along with Kyle Clouse. Enjoy the rest of your evening.
Male: You’ve been listening to Preparing Business for Business with your hosts Marcia Hawkins and Kyle Clouse. Questions or comments? Email the show at email@example.com. Also, find them on the web at NewYorkShopExchange.com. Until next time for the best tips on how to manage and grow your business, tune in again for Preparing Business for Business with your hosts Marcia Hawkins and Kyle Clouse.