In Praise Of Failure…Theirs, Not Yours

As I sit down with my clients, looking for message and motive, I despair when they begin the interview with how they want to tell their audiences about their great new policy, new direction, or new product. When they do that, I know I have got a lot of work to do. Not because I don’t want to write about the new policy, direction, or product. We can get to that. It’s just not a very compelling way to start.

So, how are you going to get audiences to buy-in to whatever it is your
clients are selling? One way to start is having them talk not about their
great successes, but about their grand failures. Stories of failure are much
more interesting. They tend to speak to our common humanity. They give
the speaker the opportunity to talk about how they ultimately triumphed.
Audiences bite because they, too, have made mistakes, and your speakers’
confessions make them sound refreshingly human and imperfect. And, they
want to know how their story ends. This, of course, is the perfect opening for the messaging your speakers want to get to.

With a happy ending of course.

So, get your clients to confess. It’s good for the soul.