Your story has to be convincing

I was just going through my old papers and came across an interesting story that was sent to me by a friend. The story is interesting from the point of view that it highlights the importance of telling a convincing story in all your communications, oral and written.

The story sent to me read as follows:

A 90-year old man said to his doctor, “I have never felt better. I have an 18-year old bride who is pregnant with mny child. What do you think?”

The doctor considered the old man’s question for a minute and then said, “I have a friend who is a hunter and never misses a season. One day when he was going out for hunting, he was in a hurry and accidentally picked up his umbrella instead of his gun. When hr got to the creek, he saw a rabbit sitting beside the stream. He raised his umbrella and went, ‘bang, bang’. The rabbit fell dead. What do you think of that?”

The 90-year old man said, “I’d say somebody else killed the rabbit.”

The doctor replied, My point exactly.”

The point that I am trying to make here is that if your story is not logical with a smooth flow you will not be able to convince the audience to buy into your point of view. Never think that the audience is stupid and that you can fool them.

I indirectly learned the importance of focusing on the building a convincing logical story for all my communication by the chairman of the company I worked for in the US in 1989. His name was Peter van kampen. After practicing it and even conducting training programs on the subject, I converted the idea into a book titled “80/20 rule of communicating your ideas effectively.”

I don’t know if the old man learnt a lesson from the doctor but I think you and I should. Always focus on the STORY in all your communications including presentations as well as writings. In fact, consider it as the 80/20 rule or the Pareto’s Law for effective communications.

avinash Narula

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