In order to get ahead today, the knack for good storytelling is key, says Hollywood movie mogul Peter Guber, author of the new book, Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story.
“If you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it,” is Guber’s motto.
Facts and figures play a necessary supporting role in business, he explains. But, you need to be able to do more than just recite statistics in a PowerPoint presentation to be a successful. “If you want to move somebody to act [or] persuade them…you’ve go to narrate those facts” into an emotional experience or story, he says.
The first step to being a good storyteller is being a good listener, says Guber. You have to know your audience first, before you can determine how to best communicate a message to them.
As a Hollywood fixture, it is no surprise Guber is championing the art of storytelling. The movies he has produced have earned over $3 billion worldwide and include some of this generation’s most loved films, like Rain Man, Color Purple, Batman and Flashdance.
But, times are changing fast. We now live in the digital age of media where attention spans have been whittled away so much that now even writing an email takes too much effort. Many of us have resorted to communicating in 140 characters or less.
So how do you effectively tells stories today? “The same way you told them in front of a campfire 30,000 years ago," Guber tells Dan in the accompanying clip. People are hard-wired to connect and relate to one another whether it is face-to-face or electronically.
And, the key to this connection is emotion. “[People] are always looking to get attention, intention and they use emotion to make it memorable and resident,” he says, referring to the way people use emoticons to express their feelings. :)