During presentations, use relevant stories that are appropriately dramatic, or you may come across as manipulative or out of touch with reality. When giving an update at a small staff meeting on a project you’re leading, you wouldn’t tell a melodramatic story about the “just-in-time delivery” of multiple vendors you managed at your daughter’s wedding. It would waste everyone’s time.
But one U.S. government official did effectively tell a story about his daughter’s wedding. To what end? To get new remote-communication technology adopted in his organization. The story he told was that many of his relatives couldn’t travel to the wedding, so he used a commercial version of a technology to push the wedding pictures quickly to the remote family members, helping everyone feel more included in the event. He argued that adopting the enterprise version of this technology at the agency would similarly include distant employees in the development of important agency initiatives. The senior executives not only understood this with their minds but felt it in their hearts. They could relate this story about a father doing his best to serve his family to their agency doing its best to serve the citizenry.