How to make your message memorable

Want people to remember your speeches and presentations? Get into the emotional transportation business. That’s the advice of master-storyteller Peter Guber, in a fascinating profile in the business section of the Globe and Mail (July 23rd).

People, he says, are not naturally built to absorb raw data. But if you coat information in a compelling story, your audience will remember it for years.

(If you are regular readers of this Blog or the Podium Newsletter, you’ll have heard this message before. But it doesn’t hurt to restate it, especially when it’s reinforced by someone like Guber).

Peter Guber
Peter Guber

Guber argues that narrative is the most powerful communication tool we have. If you are a boss and you need to persuade workers to work differently, or you are a salesman closing a deal, you need a convincing narrative.

“When you want to move somebody, you have to say to yourself ‘I’m in the emotional transportation business’. I gotta move them emotionally. If I move them emotionally, I can get them to move a little bit closer to where their fear space is, and take a bit of a chance.

“If I try to move them informationally, or intellectually, I’m aiming for the head – and, in my business, that’s where flops are born.”

Guber’s business is being a Hollywood producer. His credits include Batman, The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Rain Man and Gorillas in the Mist.

Now he’s turned his hand to writing, penning a self-help business book called Tell to Win. The core belief in the book is in the power of storytelling.


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