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Monday, December 21, 2009

Truth and Time

For over 20 years, I have been presenting Talk Your Business, How to Make More And Better Sales Right Away! It’s an hour where I introduce a better template for an introduction and a better template for telling a story and the audience then commences to commit sales on each other. We always get a couple of transactions, so I must be a guru.

About once a year, a participant would get very disturbed and splutter, “That’s not true!” I couldn’t get a coherent explanation of the issue, but did understand they were angry. The rest of the audience and the presenter (me) would try to understand the problem, would be mystified, and would proceed…cautiously.

After the third time that happened, I was flying home and sat next to a shrink. I described what had happened, and asked what it meant. He must have been great shrink, because he asked a couple of questions, looked at my handout, thought about it, and explained.

The problem was I was letting people develop examples of how they are excellent in either the past or the future, he explained. Truth is about something that has already happened. Telling a story about the future is neither true or false, since truth can only be measured in the past. The future story shows vision. The splutterer was having an emotional reaction to trying to measure the truth of something that hadn’t happened.

Sometimes we need to discuss our vision of the future. Proverbs 29:18 “When there is no vision the people perish.” However, when demonstrating truth, the safest course is to tell a story about something that has already happened, and even better, is already known and accepted by the audience.

Today I make sure I explain this drawing during the presentation and everyone is happier.

Your story?