Build a Story Bank

story A very dear friend and client of mine, George MacAllister, shared this smart idea with us a few years back and it never left me.

George has 24 stories he’s gathered and memorized.  They are complete stories that he’s told over and over and uses from time to time to illustrate a point, communicate an important idea or to build credibility.  He’s written them down, put them into categories and organized them so that he’s ready to use them whenever he needs to conduct a presentation or close a deal.  As a professional sales trainer, George knows that this is a powerful capability to hone and leverage.  And when George tells a story, boy he really delivers.


So here’s the exercise:

  1. Make a list of all of your best stories
  2. Categorize them according to the purpose they serve
    • “Who I Am” stories
    • “Moral of the Story” stories
    • “Case study” stories
  3. Outline them or even write them out and save them
  4. Practice them so you can tell them well

How to tell it well?  To tell a good story you have to remember to enjoy the telling, include details, relish the contrasts, enjoy the pauses and imbue them with passion and enthusiasm.

  • Characters: Who are the people in the story and how do they talk, think dress?
  • Challenge: What is the key question or need they are trying to answer?
  • Adventure: What was the unique idea or premise that they embarked upon?
  • Conflict: Who or what stands in the way of their success?
  • Result: How are they (or will they) overcome this conflict?


The 4 Intellectual Capital Graphics You Need Today

So, why graphics? When it comes to turning your intellectual property into more powerful intellectual capital - graphics rule. And in a world where most communication is growing increasingly truncated into sound-bites, we’ve found that graphics help the brain connect ideas faster. Graphics enable information to unfold in a format that provides simultaneous ingesting of information – from your firm’s quality to the content of your message to a hint at your ideal audience – all of that can be related to your audience in a graphic even before the first word is read. It’s really pretty impressive when you think of it that way. What I’ve experienced is that when graphics are thoughtfully constructed they can fast-track insight on a multi-tiered level all happening in the blink of an eye.

So which graphics to start with?  Here are the four essential intellectual capital graphics you need and why:

1. A “What You Believe” Graphic - Nail your world view and share the essence of your philosophy.

2. A “How You Transform Others” Graphic: Help explain STATE A (where people are when they meet with you) and then STATE B (how they are better off because of your solutions)

transformation graphic


3. A “Your Market Position” Graphic:  Explain where you are positioned against others. David versus Goliath is a good, classic structure, as is the "Third Space" idea that Steve Jobs positioned when he showcased the iPad. Consider that contrasts are good for your clients.


4. A “How You Deliver” Graphic:  Outline is a step by step fashion how you run the process of working with others. A narrative graphic here that walks clients through the steps of working with you alleviates confusion and informs your WHAT with WHY!

this is a classic "worldview" graphic with a process around it

Who you are and what you believe drives the way you create value. Graphics show it and allow others the chance to really peer beyond your product into the experience you create and the value that lives within your practice.

the wisdom Harvest

What to know how?  Start with your wisdom by downloading this free tool to help you define your wisdom and how it serves others: