What role does story play in your talks?
What I try to do is tell a story that backs up the evidence.
One of my favorite stories I like to tell was told to me by a guy named Tom Porter, who was in charge of the Pixar team that did the fur of Sully from Monster’s Inc.
He spent three years of his life trying to make that fur right. He said every time he saw Steve Jobs—Steve was CEO at the time—Steve would say, “Tom, for the rest of your life when you look back on Sully’s fur, what you’re going to say is ‘Look how great it looks in the rain, in the wind, when he moves.’ And you’re going to say ‘That’s our fur! Didn’t we do a great job?'” I talk to Tom now, and Tom’s got an executive position there and he said, “Now I look back at that fur and I’m proud, we did such a great job.”
That’s sort of story illustrates the point, but it’s also backed up by a huge body of research on the power of effective pride—not that sort of greedy, I’m better than you pride, but that we’re doing something great together.