As a professional keynote speaker my job is to take real life experiences and reveal a lesson. Here is a story featuring one of those experiences:
I was in Phoenix, Arizona, speaking for American Express. A young man, Steve Hudson, whose job it was to look after me, told me that the week before he’d been at one of the big fancy malls to buy 10 boxes of chocolates to give to his staff as a thank you for a project they had just finished.
He said, “Patricia, in the mall there were two candy stores, almost opposite. I popped my head around the door in the first one and said, ‘Excuse me, do you accept American Express? She said, ‘Yes.’ So I wandered in. Bought about 10 boxes of chocolates…” He put them on the counter, and there he saw Visa, Master Card… no American Express logo. He looked at his boxes of chocolates, about a $150.00 purchase – which has got to be pretty big for a candy store. He turned around and he looked across to the other candy store; he recognized his little American Express logo in the distance. And he said to the cashier, “You know, I work for American Express. I know you accept our card, but you don’t advertise us and the other store does. You know, I have to take my business over there.”
She nodded. She understood. However, fortunately, there was a young kid, 16 years old, just working after school for minimum wage, wiping the counters, stocking the shelves; He heard this interaction. He said, “Sir, hold…hold on sir. Hold on.” He raced out of the store. Raced across the mall. Went to the other candy store. Picked up the American Express application. Raced back. Cut out the logo out and taped it to the register. He said, “Sir, is that good enough?”
That young man was acting like his name was on the door. He took the initiative. He creatively removed the obstacle. He saved the customer.
In public speaking stories like this one help you connect with your audience emotionally as well as intellectually. For help in turning simple stories into examples that will be remembered and repeated, read my previous blog post, Three Techniques for Better Storytelling
Learn how to use real life stories to enhance your presentations through my DVD, Compelling Stories.