Anecdote, Learning and Application-ALA

She wasn’t asking or saying much at one of the many workshops I was running on Corporate Storytelling across India. Though the program was generic in design, and was targeted towards organizational development consultants, employee engagement enhancers and brand builders, the room that day had quite a few attendees from the financial industry. They were in the room to take away lessons on how to use storytelling for increasing sales.

As a facilitator I’d stirred up the room with philosophies, principles and practices to source, structure and serve all kinds of stories.

Anecdote, Learning and Application

Anecdote, Learning and Application

To the sales-minded people in the room, I offered ALA-Anecdote, Learning and Application/Action as a framework to use for using stories and storytelling for sales.

Arzoo, as she was called, was a content writer for one of the largest event management companies in India hesitantly stood up to take a shot at the storytelling model for driving sales. Now, most all of the times it is the learning facilitator that finds fulfilment when participants absorb, accept and apply ideas shared in class but, this time, I must confess I was bowled over with Arzoo’s touch of class and creativity in using the format ALA.

She began by talking about how elegant, suave and brilliant Audi the car was and how over the years it had evolved and adapted itself to changing times and technologies. She then went on by saying that when she wrote, she thought of Audi as a living, talking and a thinking person. And how, as when she did that, the content that she created for Audi and her clients was usually beyond brilliant and most always picked up a lot of brand traction.  After she had done that, she slowly slid into how creative content writers immerse themselves into the persona of a product or a process and then personify it. Give it a human touch, they do, she said. She eventually transitioned into how most brands and businesses can benefit from good content creation.

It was a pitch, yes but, boy was it the classiest one I’d ever heard. The anecdotal part was more like a little chat about a car with a personality; the learning part was more like a realization on the part of a content writer and the call to action absolutely subtle and sublime. The whole delivery had zero hard edges to it and none of the sides were coarse but the traction the performance got was phenomenal.

My thrust in all I do and say about storytelling is that our approaches, our proposals must be structured and served such that they may be smoother than and sweeter than any smoothest and the sweetest of wines our client-partners may have ever had. At the end of conversations with our clients as and when they do acquire our services they must walk away with the feeling that they were not “sold to,” but it was them who struck a deal of a lifetime. Happy, for ever after they should be about the whole interaction.

Drawn from my book, the HeART of STORY, I still have one more open to public workshop in Bangalore on Corporate Storytelling on December 07, 2016. Catch me if you can. I shall be more than pleased to have you there.


Here’s what Ms. Arzoo Singh of SaltXP Events and others had to say about the workshop:

“It was very engaging and has surely added to my skills.” Arzoo Singh, Salt XP Events, India.

“It was fine with good learnings…looking forward to more like this.”  Devrath Singh Raghav, Birla Sun Life, India.

A very good session!” Karan Khanna, New Delhi

Amazing session! Great learning and practical, doable, valuable inputs from Raju Mandhyan.” Swapnil Parlikar, Mumbai, India.

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