5 Ways To Tell Better Stories
By: Angelina Lawton
Your prospects have heard and seen it all – they do not want the same old presentation or pitch. If you don’t put something different and memorable in front of them you will likely lose the opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.
Further, the sports world is constantly expanding its digital footprint! This poses a new and exciting challenge for organizations as they aim to break through the clutter and share their story in a compelling way.
I am often asked what the top brands in sports are doing in their presentations and what other leagues can learn from them. The most forward thinking organizations understand that presentations are a key part of their marketing technology stack. They are optimizing their presentations and placing a greater emphasis on the storytelling aspect. Your presentations should have the same strategic focus and commitment that is given to your website, digital marketing, and social media platforms.
We have had a front row seat to what 350+ pro and collegiate teams are doing when it comes to storytelling practices and have collected a list of the 5 most powerful ways that a team can elevate their storytelling practices.
1. Tell Me A Story
Think about the amazing content and story lines your franchise has, it really is endless. What an opportunity to tell your story! Try to stay away from overloading your presentations with the physical assets you are selling and focus on the power of your very own story, the attributes that make you unique, and how that story aligns with a prospective partner’s objectives.
Organizations have become distracted gearing up for the next pitch when they should be spending more time and effort refining the elements that help craft their narrative. Your brand and story may get lost if it is all about what dashboard or field signage you are offering within the partnership. Talk more about the RELATIONSHIP you hope to build.
Sometimes a company will even dilute their brand with inconsistent messaging. We often work with multiple departments at the same organization and talking to one side of the house can lead to completely different messaging than the other. Without a doubt, that shows up in your presentations. Stay consistent throughout your organization and include as many key stakeholders at the onset.
2. Its About Your Prospect, Not You!
Frame your story and your value proposition in the context of your prospect’s business needs. Your pitch should begin by summarizing what you know about your prospect. Don’t waste valuable time—and your prospect’s attention—diving too deeply into your own backstory or qualifications. Make it all about them, weaving in how you can help.
Customizing your pitch and tailoring it to your prospect offers more impactful presentations that feel personal and meaningful. Listen and learn everything you can about your prospects so that you can make it clear in your presentation that you are the partner for them. There are no shortcuts.
3. The “Billboard Approach”
Be quick, don’t overload your deck with text. This is the number one thing we help teams with. Instead of too much text, replace slides with video, images, and interactive infographics. Be concise. Take billboards, for instance: billboards get straight to the point, they are visually stimulating, and aim to leave a lasting impression QUICKLY. Books on the other hand are text-heavy and incorporate limited visual elements. Don’t be a book.
Sports teams are in the business of selling the experience. One important tip when it comes to the Billboard Approach of Storytelling is to not overdo it. Fight the instinct to keep adding more information and using all of your best assets at once. The goal is to tell a succinct story and deliver it in a way that is very easy to understand. Don’t use 100 words when 10 will suffice. Be respectful of your audience’s time. Deliver an interactive and engaging experience that will set you apart from the rest.
4. Sports Have The Best Assets, Use Them
In today’s world, “Content is King,”and with social media and smartphones, teams have no shortage of content. Real-time activations, videos, and interviews are all at your fingertips. Force yourself to make it more than a picture when you have so much interactive content to work with. We’ve seen teams utilize interns to help gather great content and believe they are a great resource for these activities. Adding powerful videos into your pitch can take audiences back in time, immerse them in your story, and add merit to your message.
Take it from the pros themselves: the Carolina Hurricanes were looking for a way to enable their sales representatives to create highly visual presentations quickly and efficiently with rich media and audio components. The Hurricanes’ search led them to Sportsdigita for their presentation needs.
“The Digideck provides flexibility and makes the sales process much more engaging and impactful whether we are presenting a proposal or a season recap. It allows our sales team to communicate in a highly visual way with prospects by adding interactive capabilities like video, rich media, audio, and analytics to help accelerate the sales cycle in a controlled, effective way.” -Jim Ballweg, VP Corporate Partnerships, Carolina Hurricanes
The San Diego Padres understood the important role visual, interactive experiences play in selling the premium ticket experience. To convey the beauty of Petco Field and the extraordinary value of their suites and hospitality packages, they utilized 360-degree interactive panorama, within the Digideck.
“We are using the Digideck’s panorama feature to give a better representation of our suites and hospitality spaces. We have several hospitality locations that are literally on the field for entertaining where you can catch a home run. It was tremendous to show those locations in a way that did not look like a long flat space, that was big for us.” -Chelsea Dill, Manager Corporate Hospitality, San Diego Padres.
5. Constantly Evaluate Your Pitch
This is critical. Evaluate and then reevaluate again. Make sure your message is right for each audience. Get the entire team together for this exercise, particularly Marketing and Sales. Bridge the two groups as much as you can during this exercise. Tap into your client-facing teams such as Customer Service and Customer Success. Reevaluate your brand story each quarter and confirm buy-in from the top of your organization to ensure a unified message.
Our team constantly tweaks and optimizes our pitches after meeting prospective partners. We have different pitches for different audiences. You can’t have a one-stop-shop for allyour prospects. CUSTOMIZE different versions. After a pitch, we ask ourselves what would we have changed? Was the flow proper for the audience? What could we have done better? Asking yourself the tough questions is where you see the most room for growth. It is okay to pinpoint where your team may have fallen short if it paves the way for improvement.