Storytelling

Data breaches cost over $150 per record. An identity is stolen every 3 seconds. DDoS attacks are up over 43% this year alone. Some random statement on how poor most passwords are these days.

Does this droning sound like what is driving your security program? Even though these facts are true they may not win the hearts and minds of your security decision makers. Everyone seems to have these facts these days so in a way they are becoming background noise. This can make your job of selling the correct security solution for your business much harder.

What is a security professional to do when the facts, data and logic don’t sway the masses to action?

Storytelling

The answer is simple. You need to engage your decision makers with a story that conveys the issues, reveals the villains and describes best solution for the business.

From our friends at Wikipedia Storytelling:

is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment.

The story builds a relationship between the cold facts and the real-life context that the decision maker understands. You can embed the facts in the story but they need to be backed up with those embellishments that add relevancy. This doesn’t mean you should lie, it just says you should add meaning to the facts.

Engage your audience by building a story that conveys what matters to them. Give them a reason to care about your facts. Realize that that in order to activate the facts you have to attach some emotion to them otherwise they are just cold, hard facts.

Next Steps

  • Pick a small number of facts
  • Know how your audience is affected by these facts
  • Most importantly know how your customer base is affected
  • Build a story around the root cause of these issues
  • Introduce a solution
  • Quickly mention next steps
  • Use images over any verbiage

If you have lots of supporting information, charts and graphs push them to the end of the presentation. Only pull them out if someone asks a direct question regarding those facts. Use the story to get agreement. Use the facts later on once you start really working through next steps.

There are lots of story resources out there on the web and I encourage you to utilize those.

Conclusion

You may not be able to employee this tactic for each engagement but it might be worth putting the extra storytelling effort in on the important solutions you are trying to sell.

As a side note this is why so many PowerPoint presentations that were based solely on facts have caused widespread head trauma over the years.

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