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What's Your Story?

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Derek BartonDerek Barton

How many times have we looked at someone inquisitively and wondered, "What's his story?" Other times it's, "What's he smoking?"

The truth is, we all have a story. If we tell our story right, it could inspire people and open many doors. Told wrong, it could turn people off and even become a deal breaker.

Case in point, I have been consulting for a start-up company that has the potential to be a billion-dollar brand. They're already making money and receiving positive publicity in their field, but they need a little more capital and some extensive social media resources to take them to the next level. So, I recently arranged a meeting between their top two executives and a very successful marketing friend of mine, who brought along his investment partner, whom I had never met before. We all flew in for a scheduled 2 1/2 hour meeting at my friend's corporate office.

The CEO of the start-up was excited about the meeting and hoped to come away with a commitment of my friend's valuable social media resources and a big capital investment to complete his company's funding.

I had a Apple Keynote ready to show my friend and his partner the salient facts about my client's business. My Keynote slides were cued up on the monitors in the huge boardroom where we were assembled. The CEO and COO of the start-up were each asked to give a 60-second bio about themselves. The COO went first. I was impressed that he gave his bio in under 60 seconds. Then, it was the CEO's turn. To the surprise, and dismay, of us all, he rambled on and on for over 20 minutes!

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