165: Story Endings

story endings


How do you create impactful story endings? Most of you are business storytellers; you use stories to communicate persuasive sales messages.

Those can be live presentations, webinars, sales letters, face-to-face, one-on-one sales, even phone conversations – any communication designed to move people to some kind of buying decision.

All of those qualify as stories. You can begin strongly, develop strongly, but if your story endings are weak, you will not influence people to take actions that will improve their lives, you will not move them to buy from you.

In this episode, you will learn about the important elements of all your story endings. These elements make up the secret sauce that gives all your business communication irresistible persuasion power.

These key questions will help you create knockout story endings:

  • Do people must feel the conclusion of your story in their minds, hearts, and bodies? They must experience your message and feel satisfied and inspired by it. Inspired to say yes to what you’re offering.
  • Have you delivered on the big promise that you have made at the beginning of your story? (hopefully, you have made one)
  • Have you resolved all the problems you introduced at the beginning? Problems that you audience have and want to eliminate.
  • Have you closed all the loops you created in your story? (curiosity loops that keep people engaged from beginning to end)

You will review two powerful analogies that help you clearly understand how strong story endings work. They are:

  • The musical analogy – when you hear a classical symphony, you experience its beginning, middle, and end with your whole being. The final note of a symphony resonates in your gut. You feel a satisfied sense of conclusion.
  • Ocean wave analogy – You experience the formation of an ocean wave, it’s build to a peak, and it’s rapid crashing resolution on the shore the same way you experience music.

Alo, you will rediscover the two things your story endings can’t live without:

  • Future-casting – Your entire story is a journey for the person receiving it. As you guide your audience to the final destination, you must paint a vivid picture of what life will be like when they say yes to your offer.
  • Call to action – This is where so many sales presentations (stories) wimp out. There is no room for unclear language, no room for words like i. You must confidently and firmly tell people exactly what to do to experience the promise, the big benefits of your offer. You must tell people what to do to buy your products and services.

Finally, you will be inspired when you hear the powerful ending of a great book on storytelling (title and author below).

I give you your call to action to be bold, passionate, and direct in delivering your business communication with engaging beginnings, compelling development, and irresistible story endings.


The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

Listen to this episode
Leave a comment

163: Show, Don’t Tell

show, don't tell


How do you feel when someone tells you do something? If you’re like me, you resist their command. You pull back, and, most probably don’t do what you’ve been told.

No one likes to be bossed. On the other hand, it feels great when you choose to do or buy something because it excites you and feels right for you.

Show, don’t tell is a powerful storytelling technique that allows people to engage with your  narrative in a way that makes them feel respected and understood. It lowers and removes resistance to your message and your offers.

It creates a magnetic pull that attracts customers and clients to your business.

What does show, don’t tell mean? It means that you demonstrate the benefits and great value of your offers rather than talk about them hoping to convince people of your words.

A great way to learn the show, don’t tell technique is to watch great movies. You’ll notice that they pull you in by actions and vivid pictures; they don’t rely heavily on words to explain things to you.


  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Watch the opening sequence of this film, and time the moment when the first word is spoken. You may be surprised at how long you were engaged in this story without dialogue.
  • The Spirit of the Beehive – A haunting film from Spain that explores the fragile world of a child’s imagination. There a long scenes without dialogue that brilliantly move the story forward with the characters’ actions. This movie will arouse powerful emotions without talking about them.
  • The Godfather – This movie opened in 1971. It feels relevant and immediate today. You can learn so much about storytelling by watching The Godfather many times. The opening scene establishes the world of the story and reveals a lot about Don Corleone, the mob boss exquisitely played by Marlon Brando. It does this with actions. Watch it, and see what I mean.

Strong persuasive business storytelling  uses show, don’t tell the same way movies do.

You’ve probably seen a live kitchen knife demonstration, or you’ve seen one on TV. If you are in the market for good kitchen knives, you will become fully engaged in a strong physical demonstration. Every action the presenter takes brings you closer to an enthusiastic decision to buy the knives. You make your purchase feeling that it was totally your choice. You were not pressured or manipulated into buying.

You’ll learn another example from business in this episode. I talk about network marketers who sell weight loss products like protein shakes. The novice pushes prospects away from products that can benefit them by blabbing on and on about the product. The list all it’s magical ingredients. They try to dazzle people with statistics and scientific data. Most prospects recoil from their pushy efforts.

Keep this in mind. You are never selling products. You are selling results that people strongly want. A good show, don’t tell scenario can demonstrate this.

Imagine an uncomfortably overweight man  climbing stairs in his home. See him clutch the bannister; feel his discomfort as he slowly trudges up the staircase one step at a time. Experience his fatigue a he stops to catch his breath. His son enters the scene at the top of the stairs. He looks sadly at his dad, He approaches his father, takes him by the hand, and says, “I’m worried about you, dad. Your weight is dangerous to your health. I’m afraid that you won’t live long enough to meet your grandchildren.”

The son leaves. The father stands alone for a moment with tears in his eyes.

We cut to a scene sixty days later. Father and son are playing catch together in a park on a sunny day. Dad looks lean in his “new” body. They smile at one another and continue to throw the ball energetically back and forth.

That story will sell more shakes than any product pitch every time.

I encourage you to study films and TV commercials for great examples of show, don’t tell.

To help you practice your own marketing and sales stories, I offer you these three steps.

  • Move from IDEA to ACTION. Write the idea for your offer briefly on paper. Tehn, think of actions that will demonstrate strong benefits with convincing.
  • Move from WORDS to PICTURES. After you know what you want to say, create a storyboard that says the same thing in pictures.
  • Move from BEFORE to AFTER. All your sales and marketing messages must take your audience on a journey from an undesired before state to a highly desired after state.

Show, don’t tell authentic, entertaining, engaging stories that sell, and you will prosper.

Listen to this episode
Leave a comment

161: Universal Stories

universal stories


What are universal stories? They are stories that speak to the deepest human needs. Stories that have a strong universal element create empathy and connection.

Business stories that are universal attract and win new clients and customers. This episode teaches you how to harness the element of universality in your business storytelling.


  1. Rocky – explores the human need for significance
  2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – the need to return home, to belong
  3. Field of Dreams – the need to dream and believe in our dreams
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody – the need for individual self expression


Never make your marketing and sales messages about the greatness of your products and services. All your business storytelling should focus on the needs, desires, and dreams of a central character, which is always the avatar of your target market.


Anthony Robbins created this list of six profound human needs that motivate every choice we make.

  1. Certainty – the need for security, comfort, and consistency
  2. Uncertainty – the need for variety, challenges, adventure
  3. Significance – the need to feel important, needed, wanted, and worthy of love
  4. Love & Connection – the need to feel connected with and loved by others
  5. Growth – the need for constant development emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually
  6. Contribution – the need to give to others

This list is a powerful template to use every time you communicate with your target market. It can transform and enrich your life and business.

Listen to this episode
Leave a comment

159: Conflict in Storytelling

conflict in storytelling


Conflict in storytelling is a vital element to all great stories. In fact, you won’t a story if you do not introduce and develop conflict from beginning to end.

Why? Because people get involved and remain engaged in your story when it takes them on a journey toward the resolution of conflict.

Think of conflict in storytelling as a powerful tool to create and sustain tension. Tension hooks and holds attention.


Two movies that demonstrate intense conflict in storytelling are:

  • E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial – directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Rocky  – starring Sylvester Stallone


Why do people see plays and movies more than once? They want to experience the resolution of conflict in storytelling. The journey, the struggle against obstacles, toward the resolution of conflict arouse strong emotions and makes people more alive.

Remember this rule of storytelling. People are held and remain engaged by the process of resolution, not the outcome.

In this episode, you will gain insight to three great stories that people return to again and again even though they know how those stories end. They are:

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • It’s A Wonderful Life – starring James Stewart and directed by Frank Capra


You will learn why you always want to use conflict in storytelling for your presentations, sales and marketing messages, and pitches to enrol people in your ideas or cause.

This is why storytelling works so well to earn your money and create success in your business:

  • Character – You create a central character that represents your audience’s avatar; your audience is your specific target market.
  • Pain Point – You identify your audience’s biggest pain point.
  • Resolution – You promise to eliminate pain and resolve your audience’s problem.
  • Conflict – You introduce conflict to take your audience on a satisfying resolution journey.
  • Empathy & Rapport – You identify your audience’s conflict and make them feel understood. That makes them like and trust you, and feel that they know you.


Discover why I care about your success as a masterful storyteller.


“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt


Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield

Listen to this episode
Leave a comment

157: Vivid Storytelling

vivid storytelling


…is not optional. If it ain’t vivid, it ain’t a story; it’s just an idea.

Warning! This episode may give you awesome communication power. Can you handle it?

Before we talk about vivid, let’s clarify what storytelling is for those of you who want to sell more products and services and/or influence people to act on your words. Think of storytelling as a journey for your audience that takes them from an undesired or painful before state, through an obstacle course, to strongly desired after state. You, the storyteller, are guiding and directing that journey. Your responsibility is to make it an authentic adventure of a lifetime. That’s where vivid comes in.

You make your story vivid by using sensory language. Remember this easy rule. Use your senses, all five of them. Make your audience see, hear, smell, taste, and touch (feel) your story. When you do that, you speak to the heart; when you don’t do it, you appeal only to logic, to the head. Not good. When your communication does not appeal to and arouse emotion, it has little to no impact. It’s barely heard and quickly forgotten.

Here is another import tip to remind you how to communicate vividly and strongly. Never ask your audience to figure out what you’re talking about on their own. There are two major problems with that. One, your message is open to too many different interpretations when it doesn’t vividly jump out at people. Two, imagining things requires energy that most people are not willing to give.

Let’s compare head language with heart language:


In this episode, you will also hear two powerful examples of vivid storytelling from two professionally written short stories, one of them based on a real life event.

You can easily transform your communication into a magnetic force that compels people to listen to you and act on what you tell them. This can earn you a lot  of money, and it will enrich the lives of the people you meet.

Listen to this podcast more once, take notes, then, practice, practic, practice. You will experience mastery.


Writing For Story by Jon Franklin

The Fly by Katherine Mansfield (in Stories Vintage Classics)


Listen to this episode
Leave a comment