Passionate Storytellers Can Make All The Difference or Damselflies Really Are Pretty Interesting

By Judi Friedman November 25, 2013

Judi Friedman

I love being outside.  I love to hike, paddle, run, and swim – really anything that gets me outdoors.  My husband Steve is a naturalist, which to me means he knows the Latin names of all the plants and looks for salamanders under rocks. It takes forever for him to finish a hike because he spends so much time bird watching and figuring out the plants.  Me? I want to see how many miles I can hike in one day. I don’t have time to stand still.

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So I wasn’t jumping up and down when Steve invited me to hear a talk on dragonflies and damselflies.  I figured well, it’s free.  I’ll give him a few hours for marriage points I can cash in later.

Surprisingly, I was mesmerized.  Dragonflies and damselflies really are interesting. I think that now only because Giff Beaton, a Delta pilot by day and amateur naturalist every other free moment, made them come alive for me.  I wasn’t looking at my watch or daydreaming. I was paying attention.  And now I know that dragonflies are bigger and hold their wings perpendicular to their bodies.  Damselflies are tiny by comparison and hold their wings over their backs.

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Giff is a consummate storyteller.  He loves dragonflies and damselflies and told us about them in a way that captured our imagination. I chatted with him at length and he enthusiastically shared more with me.  I was never bored.

Now really, how interesting are dragonflies? It doesn’t matter. The way Giff told me about them made it really interesting.

People fret that a particular product or service isn’t right for word of mouth marketing because the story isn’t interesting. I disagree.  Almost anything will work if you take the time to look for what’s compelling. Consider your real audience and then spend the time it takes to craft a compelling story.

Next, you need to find the right first person with a lot of passion to start sharing that story. Anything shared with passion becomes really interesting, if only because people want to know why that person is so passionate. Someone who has passion and can share that passion with others makes a huge difference. One really good storyteller will create others with equal passion. I now tell fellow hikers all about dragonflies and damselflies.

Once you find that passionate storyteller, they will become an incredibly important asset in your word of mouth marketing program.  Remember, one person in ten will tell the other nine what to do. Of that nine, one will start sharing the story just as passionately because of the influence of your initial storyteller.

Lessons Learned

  • Almost anything has an interesting story. It just takes more time to figure it out.
  • A difficult story to share can be mitigated by passionate storytelling.
  • Never underestimate or undervalue the power of passionate storytellers.
  • Look for passionate storytellers among like-minded groups of people, but don’t depend on industry experts.  If your story is harder to share, your passionate storyteller most likely is someone who is a geek about a related topic.
  • Consider your buying audience and what is important to them, not your internal audience and what they think is important or interesting.

This was originally posted to WOMMA “All Things WOMM” blog.


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