Story tip: the best way to keep your audience engaged

Best part of a story…

Drama? Nope

Happy ending? Nope

Witty banter? Nope


Tight Rope Walker

When something goes along exactly as planned or is merely a funny back-and-forth exchange, it can catch your attention momentarily but what keeps you from leaving your seat for two hours, even though you REALLY have to go to the bathroom/work/etc? If you feel the tension building in a story, maybe you know what’s going to happen but the main character doesn’t, or you feel something isn’t right and it’s about to come to a head but it hasn’t happened yet. You just want to hang on and see how it goes down and how the main character recovers from it.

Screenwriters get it. Why don’t business owners? It’s not the way we’re trained to think of sharing our stories. We are taught to showcase our credibility and inspire security with our audience. Do you know how that comes across to audiences? Boring. Predictable. There is no reason for them to stay tuned in to what you’re saying. Even if you’re doing a live presentation, they may pick up their phone and focus on something else.

As great as your education, experience, and presentation may be, why should your audience care? They weren’t there to experience it with you, so to them it likely sounds similar to your competitors. Once you’ve finished sharing, will they remember you in 15 minutes? Sounds harsh but there is so much competition today in nearly every category and we are constantly bombarded by information and people wanting us to buy from them, that the only way to stand out is by sharing something that people are willing to spend money on, and park in their seat for as long as you tell them. The answer, my friends, is tension.

Whatever story you choose to share with your audience, don’t leave out the good parts – those scary, embarrassing, awkward moments when you/your client/friend/parent didn’t know what to do and you weren’t sure if your plan was going to work. Build up to that. Give little clues about what’s coming next before you share it. It will make your audience much more interested and begin to picture what you’re telling them. That’s what you want. They will pay attention and create a stronger memory when they create a picture or mental movie to go along with what you’re telling them. Watch this quick video to get three tips you can start implementing into your business today.

For more helpful tools to improve your marketing with stories, please check out my FREE Facebook group, Business Story Mastery, and my online video course, Stories that Convert.