Tim Draper, a Mountain Lion and the Queen: Lessons in Great Story Telling

mountainlion

Last summer while driving down the mountain from Sierra National Forest at elevation 4,000 feet near Fresno, California, a mountain lion ran in front of my car and down the mountain.

It was the most beautiful animal I had ever seen and was at least 8 feet from nose to tail. I immediately thought, if I could see this rare and gorgeous creature in the wild, then I could do anything.  

Yes, it was by chance and only lasted a few seconds but I increased my chances of seeing it by volunteering as a life guard at a boy scout camp my son had attended. Driving back from camp at dusk didn’t hurt.

A couple of weeks later, my husband and were on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh Scotland at the same time as the Queen of England and happened to catch her walking into a cathedral with her husband Prince Philip and grandson Prince William and Kate.

I was further inspired to do great things after this second awesome experience.  How many people ever see either the Queen or a mountain lion in the wild? I saw both in the same summer.

Later that year I started my own PR consulting company, MMC PR. These brief but remarkable sitings actually did influence me to do this.

I write about the lion and the Queen to show that talking about something that happened to you is way more interesting than just stating a string of facts and figures.

Story telling allows you to engage your audience in more personal manner. And when you engage emotions, you can change attitudes more easily. Were you engaged by the lion story? How could you not be?

Most authorities on business and public relations agree with this fact. Just search “story telling” on one of my favorite sites Harvard Business Review and many stories will come up saying successful communications is buoyed by a great story.

I recently watched a phenomenal hour long Stanford Entrepreneur Center talk called “Calling All Entrepreneurial Heroes” by VC Legend Tim Draper. Here is Stanford’s description of it.

          

“In this lively presentation, Tim Draper, managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, shares his global experiences funding entrepreneurial heroes who ‘break down walls.’ Draper shares attributes that support viable entrepreneurial environments, and encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to attack established monopolies and to never fear making mistakes.”
 
Tim Draper knows how to tell a story to get his point across. His heroes talk is primarly a string of anecdotes that include challenges in starting the VC industry in Russia and what happened when he met with the President of the Ukraine.
 
Draper starts out by having the audience get up and yell “Wild Things” because the other of that class children’s book had just died and he wanted to create an appropriate and timely tribute.
 
If you are struggling with speaking and truly engaging your audience, watch Draper in action: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=3076
 
For further infomation on the topic, read HBR.org’s story “Story Telling that Moves People” at http://hbr.org/web/special-collections/insight/communication/storytelling-that-moves-people

This informative article adds the tip that great story telling is not always positive. Important tasks are hard to do and showing a challenge or a rejection is sometimes more engaging then just saying everything is coming up roses.

 
###
 
 

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Tim Draper, a Mountain Lion and the Queen: Lessons in Great Story Telling

  1. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this
    post reminds me of my old room mate! He always
    kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.

    Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s