Muhammad Ali : more than a boxer – a warrior poet that has changed the world with his words.

Does your story change your customers’ belief and behaviour?

Muhammad Ali, self-proclaimed “The Greatest” and believed to be just that by fans the world over, has done much more than “float like a butterfly” in his remarkable life.

Although primarily acknowledged for his 56 wins-5 losses boxing career and his victorious fight against the government as a conscientious objector during Vietnam, Ali is also one of the best-known humanitarians in the world, a leader and an actor in several films.

One of the primary reasons that Muhammad Ali is so well known to the world is his fantastic ability of storytelling. Lauded for his gregarious self-promotion and clever one-liners, Ali would quickly come to the forefront of late-60s culture. Later in life, his wise and penetrating views on friendship and the treatment of one’s fellow man would inspire the world and make him one of the most-recognized faces on Earth. At the 1996 Olympics, his lighting of the torch brought tears to millions.


What was his secret?

Beyond an overpowering charisma and a handsome face he often shamelessly brought attention to, Ali had an arresting ability to shape words in unexpected ways and deliver them in a rapid-fire manner, much like his famed jab. The effect was to leave a listener stunned, amused and charmed.

This was not an angry man, nor a malicious one. He was enthusiastic about himself, his life and the world around him. These qualities are such as to naturally draw one in, and his powerful and pointed quips would keep you pinned at his side.

Charisma is not necessarily something one can learn, but if anything is to be gleaned from the intrinsic lessons of this entertaining and intense champion of life, it is that, much like a magician, you must earn the trust of your audience. The trick is to do it honestly – to make people love you for what you are without trying to “sell” them. It takes confidence and a benevolent energy. Be happy about what you are doing, and be self-assured – there is something fantastic you know that perhaps someone listening does not, and you are more than happy to share this “energy” with them.

Muhammad Ali was a force that would commandeer any camera or microphone in a room.

He started as a young, charming fighter – “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize!” – and became a leader and respected voice of reason.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Your product is not anymore the hero in B2B Storytelling.

What customers need the most is believe. In B2B facts do not persuade (anymore) , feelings do! Once prospects are constantly and consistently getting affirmation of the value a product or organisation provides, via any kind of sales channel as well as analyst reports, customer success-stores, social media and buzz in the market; they will believe. Once customers make Your Story, Their Story, sales has tapped into the powerful force of faith and belief. If you can make your customers enthusiastic about your company, your solutions and the unique value your technology provides, and they understand the reasons why your technology is different compared to any alternative, you have come to the point where things begin to happen. Before customers buy your product, they want to believe. Believe reduces uncertainty. Believe motivates – motivation to buy your product.

Any person as confident, earnest and good-willed as Muhammad Ali will naturally become a quality storyteller. Being genuine is a force like gravity – certain and strong in a real and comforting sense.