Having Trouble Telling Your Story?

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How to Make Your Story Compelling

I encourage you to take ‘this free, online crash course on pitching. Spend as little or much time with it as you want. Get the basics in 10-15 minutes or spend a few days honing your story. It’s available through Stanford’s new, online crash course platform.

http://ecorner.stanford.edu/modules/16/pitching_101_how_to_make_your_story_compelling

Want to User Test Stanford Material and Improve Your Pitching?

Want to try out a new Stanford crash course on pitching? I’ve created a multi-media crash course of my Stanford pitching workshop for a new online platform we’re creating there. Fill out and send the form below if you’d like to participate in user testing of the material and give feedback – I’ll forward to the person coordinating it. Free eBooklet to the first 10 people who conduct testing. Takes 20 min to a couple of hours (your choice). You’ll learn: “Pitching 101: How to Make Your Story Compelling.” Improve your pitch for any audience, duration, situation. Student testers are ideal, but others are ok too!

[If you’ve been wondering why the radio silence lately with my blog, this is the reason. I’ve been knee deep in helping to develop a bunch of these online crash courses. They’re called JOLTs – Just-in-time online learning tools. More details to come soon when we roll out the platform in a month or two. Very exciting stuff!)

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Moats (yes, the castle kind)

There is so much to say about this LinkedIn blog post by Bill Gates that I don’t know where to start. First, the humility of it is marvelous. He’s essentially self-made and at a very young age, at that – an entrepreneur. On and off, he’s been the richest person on the planet. His foundation is so effective that Warren Buffet decided to hand his wealth over to it rather than start another. And yet, Bill Gates decides to use his first official blog post on LinkedIn to talk about what he’s learned from someone else – Warren Buffet. Beautiful.

I also love the nuggets he picked out. One is the moat metaphor. Warren Buffet taught him to think of a company’s competitive advantage as a protective moat and to look at whether the moat is shrinking or growing. He talks about it through the eyes of an investor, but we should all be doing it for our own companies. Are we adequately differentiated? How sustainable is it? How quickly are other companies catching up? How is the market changing and what will that do to our moat?

Another interesting aspect of this post is that it demonstrates LinkedIn’s strategy of providing useful content to increase engagement. Judging from the number of views, likes, comments, etc. on this post already, I’d say the strategy is working. LinkedIn wants to be more than just a tool you use while job hunting. It wants to draw users in on a daily (or more) basis. It was a coup getting Bill Gates and similarly high-profile people to agree to participate. IMHO, LinkedIn has only begun to scratch the surface of its full potential, particilarly as a B2B sales and marketing tool. That will come with time, esp. once they break out of the recruiting mentality and really open up their thinking. I can see a day when it replaces Salesforce.com. But I digress…

Back to Bill Gates. One more observation, and then I’ll make myself stop: The hook is great. He gives you a two-fer – Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. The post is almost impossible to resist. And the title promises big value: Three Things I’ve Learned From Warren Buffet.

It’s a quick and easy read. But you’ll get more out of it if you take a few moments to really think about how you could apply each of his three tips to your business, job and life. Enjoy.