Let’s take a moment and I will show you what the moment is, what the story would be, and how you could transition it to make your point in several different instances.
THE MOMENT: Today is my son’s 8th birthday and he woke up all excited.
THE STORY: I was on the Gazelle exercising when my son came bounding in at 6:00 AM this morning. He said, “I am so excited I can hardly stand it!”
Today is his 8th birthday. The excitement of it all propelled him out of bed almost two hours before he normally wakes up. What excitement, what enthusiasm….
Now let’s look at how you could take this moment and story and transition it in to several different presentations. With each presentation I will share with you the situation and the goal of the presentation and then what the transition would be starting at “…what excitement, what enthusiasm…” So imagine the entire story told the same way up to that point and then with the new transition.
The point of this is not to have stellar examples but to just show you how you can take one moment and transition it through many presentations to make a point. Some you may like, and some you may not be so fond of. In this exercise go beyond evaluating the merit of each one to just looking at how the transition changes the way the listener hears the story.
You are the VP of Sales and you want to get the sales force excited about the new product your company is selling.
TRANSITION: “…what excitement, what enthusiasm… It made me stop and think, “How can we create this feeling for our customers? What can make all of us in this room so excited we can’t wait for the day to start?”
And then the answer came to me. (Here he would go on to explain the new product and its benefits)
You have an employee that has lost the passion for their job and you want them to get it back.
TRANSITION: “…what excitement, what enthusiasm.. It is the same thing I saw in you when you first started with the company. You were eager to jump in, create new ideas, and implement strategies. Somewhere along the line that has changed for you. Life is too short not to do what we are excited about. So I wanted to take a moment to chat with you on what has changed for you, what you would like to do, and how I can assist you with that.”
Engineer trying to explain to Senior Management why he wants to use a different platform for a program.
TRANSITION: Here I would start the transition right after “…before he normally wakes up. I looked at him and wondered why as adults we lose that passion for birthdays. Well today I am here to talk to you about a platform that I believe will give us the passion and drive we need to accomplish the company’s goals. Now it is a different platform than what we have talked about in the past so I realize you may feel we should just stick with what we have. But sometimes our views don’t fit what we need now and we need a new perspective just like my son gave me this morning.”
Notice in this example I dropped the “what excitement, what enthusiasm” piece.
Wife trying to get husband to see they need to have more romance in their life.
TRANSITION: “…what excitement, what enthusiasm. It made me realize that things are all about how you look at them and the excitement that stems from it is up to us. So I would love to put that same excitement and enthusiasm back in to us. I wanted to chat with you about setting up some dates and getting some time together just for us.”
It is all about perspective—what is yours, what is the listener’s, and how can you shatter the listener’s perspective so they are open to a new way of viewing things or how can you build on their perspective so they see your idea/thought as latched to their idea/thought?
ACTION: Take a second to write down a moment that happened to you this last week. Now build a quick story around it and look at how many different ways you can transition that story. Remember right now the goal is to get your brain to look at things from a new perspective rather than to write a stellar story and transition.
The more you do this, the better you will become at capitalizing on small moments so they build the momentum of your discussion or presentation.