Anyone who’s pitched to buyers or investors, knows the story.
An enthusiastic entrepreneur waxes lyrical about the strengths, opportunities and USPs of their latest invention, to be met with glazed looks and an interrogation. Few secure the vital investment. No matter how great an idea, the pitch makes or breaks it. If a would-be investor doesn’t believe in the potential, you’ve got no chance. Well, good news: psychologists have unearthed a technique which could transform pitches everywhere. It’s called experience taking.
From Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ to Jobs’ ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’, storytelling to build belief is nothing new. Experience taking goes further. In a traditional story, listeners might sympathize with or understand a character’s perspective. Experience taking involves actually becoming the main character. You lose your own identity and take on the character’s thoughts, emotions, judgments and behaviors. The theory goes that you then keep some of those characteristics yourself.
Geoff Kaufman and Lisa Libby ran a series of experiments to investigate the causes and consequences of experience taking. The results were a fascinating insight into how best to influence beliefs and behaviors using stories.
Principle 1: Reduce your investor’s self-awareness
Principle 2: Write in the first person and make your main character similar to your investors
Principle 3: If your main character is different to your investor, don’t let them know until it’s too late
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Via Josh Leichtung