Every single movie transports you through it.

The great speakers captivate you from their stage with it.

The leaders, mentors and business greats we admire have it cornered.

It is the ability to tell stories, to recreate an event – real or imagined – inside the mind of somebody else. To capture our attention, to engage us emotionally, and to have us willing to follow the story – and often the speaker – wherever they choose to take us.

In recent weeks I have been privileged to sit in rooms with amazing speakers, presenters, facilitators and trainers. And those that are ‘naturally’ gifted at story telling stand out from the crowd. They engage, they motivate, they instil in us belief.

And yet I find myself looking at the experience through the eyes of the observer, thinking about the collision of story and experience – and how it is not quite being captured.

Because too many of us are still narrating the stories. We are telling them as the observer, as the news reporter, as someone outside of the experience.

Which means our audience can also remain one-step removed. They can join you on the trail of observation, and without you realising it, never fully engage with your story.

You need to flick the switch from narrating a story, to immersing me in it.
Take me into your very own version of groundhog day.

Bring the experience to life as if you are living it right now. Bring ‘Steve’, ‘Bob’ and ‘Jane’ to life right in front of me, in the very front of my conscious thinking. Show me the emotion, lead me into the journey, and show me how to come back out of it.

Surprise me by taking me into your very own version of groundhog day – have me feeling as though I am living the experience.

We understand the need for story telling; we get it, but we are not going far enough.

We can build unbeatable skills in influence and impact if we understand how to create an emotionally connected narrative. Character-driven stories have been scientifically proven to consistently cause oxytocin synthesis1, where an audience completely, emotionally engages with you – and feels great about it.

Falling in love with groundhog day, and using it to immerse your audience intrinsically through story – is the craft you need to hone if you are serious about opening a world of possibility through the power of what you say, and how you say it.

Build your Oscar-winning performance.

Captivate from your stage, powerfully, on purpose, every time.

Create your own, unique leadership style to take the people around you, with you.

1. Experiments run by Paul J Zak, founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and professor of economics, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University.

Originally published here.