Fuel Injected IN-house: Use storytelling’s power to sell ideas.


by Sam Harrison 

“People change their minds all the time, even about very important matters. It’s just hard to do when the stakes are high. That’s why marshaling data and making rational arguments won’t work. Whether you’re changing your own mind or someone else’s, the key is emotional, persuasive storytelling.”

Maggie Koerth-Baker, BoingBoing.Net science editor


When we’re presenting our ideas to decision makers, they aren’t worried about our jobs. They’re worried about theirs. And because there are relatively few risks in killing an idea and many risks in approving an idea that may fail, decision makers tend to see an idea’s possible problems rather than its potential success.


When we’re presenting ideas, it’s up to us to paint visions of success. And we can do this with vivid stories about how our ideas will live and breathe in the real world.


“The better you are at tapping into storytelling,” says Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, “the more likely you are to get people to buy your product, support your brand and pledge loyalty to your vision.”


Use facts and figures to connect with decision makers’ heads. But also use compelling stories to capture their hearts.


Sam Harrison is a speaker, workshop leader and writer on creativity-related topics and presentation skills. His books include IdeaSelling: Successfully pitch your creative ideas to bosses, clients and other decision makers, IdeaSpotting: How to find your next great idea, and Zing!: Five steps and 101 tips for creativity on command. Find him at www.zingzone.com.