Explain Your Business Story to a 6-Year-Old

simplify your messageThursday is the Great American Teach-In. Adults in the community are asked to come speak to students and explain what they do for a living. It’s sort of like Bring Your Child to Work Day but in reverse – it’s Bring Your Parent to School Day.

Having recently started a business, and with all of the excitement of a child with a new toy, I jumped at the chance to share my experience with the kids.

The problem is I’m in marketing. I spend all day long telling others how to tell their story. Now I have to tell mine — and to a roomful of rambunctious six-year olds.

I’m always telling people to tell their story. But how is a whole ‘nother, well….story. How about some insight on the how?

The following suggestions are what I’m using to craft, and tell, my (business) story:

1. Know your audience. Are you addressing PhDs or first graders? People who want an in-depth analysis of the subject or someone who’s just politely asking what you do? Knowing your audience should influence your content and your delivery.

2. Give them what they came for. Is your audience looking for a product that will be a serious investment for them or do they want to be entertained? Keep in mind the tone they expect from you and one that fits with your service offering or organization.

3. Show and tell. Whenever possible, give them something to look at – a prop, a video, an amazing slide deck. While you’re telling, do some showing.

4. Keep it brief. I don’t care if you are the most interesting presenter (or networker) in the world, leaving your audience wanting more is a whole lot better than them checking the time on their phone and shaking it because they can’t imagine that little time has gone by.

5. Boil it down to the crux of what you do. Then dumb it down from there. Imagine telling six-year-olds what you do. As a content marketer, I would describe it to them by saying, I help organizations make more money. Yes, that may not exactly be the message that people who hire me want to broadcast but it is why they hire me – more customers, more members, more money.

I’m using this same framework for my presentation and I’ll follow this blog post up next week with how I taught content marketing to six-year-olds.

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