Standing oration

By Kristian from Speakers Loft

Are your stories being re-told?





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Standing oration
Are your stories being re-told?
By Kristian from Speakers Loft • Issue #37 • View online
Don’t get lost in technology. Even if the listeners own a smartphone, people are people and act as such.
That means that the old virtues of storytelling still rules. It is all about coupling (with our brains).

I need to make a broad, philosophical statement. I apologize, but here goes:
Technology permeates everything, but it doesn’t matter. We are still people, and we, therefore, act like people.
In other words, there are some very potent forces available for your marketing efforts. And it is not Instagram.
So connected on all the irrelevant parameters. Photo by NASA.
So connected on all the irrelevant parameters. Photo by NASA.
Simply the best
The human brain has evolved over millennia to give us the cognitive abilities we have today. Abstract thought, theoretical physics, and Fortnite would most likely make no sense to a troglodyte (that is a fancy word for caveman). I struggle with it sometimes too.
That notwithstanding, the capacity of abstraction has generally given us unprecedented abundance and peace (even if it doesn’t feel that way).
Of course, there are some costs. We are not the most robust animal nature has ever produced. Although initially, humans could travel fast and far over land for hunting. But we lost that somewhere around the invention of cars, office work and chicken nuggets.
Now we do persistence hunting mainly when it comes to the next speaking opportunity.
Our advantage over the animals is collaboration. And if you think about it, that skill is simply the best.
We got stronger than other species by working together (just like I suggest we do in speaking). That makes speaking an ancient and significant human profession. Still, we are only getting to grips with what is happening when we communicate.
Advances in neuroscience have revealed the surprising extent of the power of communication. In a process called neural coupling, brains that speak or hear a similar message start producing the same brainwave patterns. They ‘sync’ so to speak.
(And on that note be careful who you listen to)
Understanding is the ability to synchronize brainwaves. The process of aligning with what you’re exposed to is a beneficial process that makes us happy. Our brains reward us for ‘getting it.’
When we get this fix, we become enthusiastic and run to tell everyone. Produce this feeling in the audience, and biology will make you a star. The phenomenon can give you an advantage over the other speakers.
Neural coupling is quite a big responsibility. Photo by Christina Gottardi
Neural coupling is quite a big responsibility. Photo by Christina Gottardi
Word of mouth - Better than all the rest
As such your would expect word-of-mouth marketing to exert a bigger influence on decisions than other marketing channels. And it does.
Word of mouth is, by far, one of the essential mechanisms in marketing. Recommendations from friends and family consistently rank at the top when people are asked what influences their decision making.
Word of mouth ranks higher than expert reviews, discounts, news coverage, and far better than advertising when it comes to influencing people.
As the lowest ranking of all came branded content on social media.
But no roses without thorns: word-of-mouth is very hard to scale!
Better than anyone
And this then brings us to the core of what has not changed. People still need something to talk about. People always talk about whatever stands out to them. Very few people speak about mediocre experiences and services, and even if they do, most of us don’t listen.
It sounds a little rude. But really, how often do you look forward to an evening with a friend who has a bad habit of relating experiences that were sufficient, but not interesting:
“So I just watched this show on Netflix last night. It was perfectly adequate and kept me mildly entertained for 93 minutes. I’m probably not going to watch the sequel, and I’ve already forgotten most of the plot. But I do remember not being actively bored by it. There was a horse in it. You should watch it.”
… no.
The problem is not that these stories are told because they are. The challenge from a marketing perspective is that they are not re-told.
Then the stories won’t live. And it will not reach new ears.
People talk about that which stands out. Different doesn’t have to mean of exceptionally high quality. It just needs to be unexpected, useful, or fun.
Preferably, whatever you give people to talk about, should also be relevant to any offline conversations they may have with a friend, coworker, or family member.
This will make it more likely that your name is brought up.
That is all for now - keep coupling, neurally.
And of course welcome to our new members in Houston, Texas 🇺🇸 and Delft in The Netherlands 🇳🇱.
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Kristian from Speakers Loft

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