It was the cold morning of Christmas and though I slept late the night before I was up and running in the morning to attend the Landmark Education session which was to start at 11 AM. A journey of 1.5 hours and I reached almost on time (10 minutes late.)
It was an introductory session and I was called in by one of my cousins. Session speaker was a early 30s guy with a confident posture and a firm voice. Though I hadn’t done any prior research on what Landmark Education is I had high hopes with it because my cousin who called me in is a smart girl and she wouldn’t get associated with anything that is average, she goes for the best.
After initial greetings the session started with an activity which was focused on identifying one key area of life which isn’t working for you at the moment and on which you wanna work upon. Everybody had a small workbook, as soon as the instructor guided everybody started scribbling in the workbook and here I was thinking what to write. I couldn’t have shared my personal life where I had a few problems so I thought of making up a problem which actually didn’t exist in my life. As I had a eager relative sitting beside me I had to show keen interest in the program just to avoid making her feel I’m not participating whole heartily.
Instructor asked a few people to share what they have written and with a 3 step method he was trying to generalize everybody’s problem even if they don’t fit the bill. Doesn’t matter if you have mommy issues or your boss is giving you a hard time, every problem was generalized into one concept forcefully which I didn’t find quite apt. With one participant I was clearly able to see how instructor was deliberately trying to sway the participant in one direction to get him to say something particular which was a little funny for me. I would have appreciated the instructor a lot had he tried to go out of line from his 3 step concept and really tried figuring out the solution for the participant’s problem instead of swaying him in one direction.
As a marketing enthusiast I always try to observe keenly what’s the psychology behind a particular activity or action. The whole session which of course was very well practiced by the instructor was peppered with a few of his personal stories of how his problems were resolved after he attended the course a decade back. The best part about the whole session was how these stories were crafted. The strong point about the stories was the emotional aura which the instructor portrayed very well with his gestures and his storytelling skills. Instead of being flown in the emotional aura I chose to concentrate on audience’s reaction who was mesmerized completely.
Lesson Learnt: Connecting and portraying a emotional aura around your product with the help of a story can connect you to your audience at a much deeper level.
Though they had a pretty convincing instructor I guess I was the only one who didn’t register further for the paid program at the end of the session and of course the reason being the forceful conceptualization of every problem into the same 3 steps.
But what i truly learnt was that people have a kid in them who likes to hear stories and if the stories have a strong emotional feature and is improvised properly it can create a strong bond with the person sitting in audience.
So next time you are out giving presentations to VCs or your customers, practice a find story which can resonate at a personal level with your customer and you might just open a lot of possibilities for you and your business.