Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.


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The value of a 6 line story – ask the investor

Much of my work as a business mentor in the past few months has focused around creating presentations for clientele who are looking to place themselves in front of potential investors or new clients. And the key element as a coach is to help them find a hook or a story that can be ‘thrown out there’ right at the beginning of the session.

But just why is this anecdote or narrative so important?

In a talk delivered in Israel last month, branding expert Jonathan Gabay introduced a fascinating infographic. In an average 60 seconds on the internet, he explained that there are 900,000 Facebook logins, 16 million text messages, 1.8 million snaps, and oh so much more. That is a megaload of information.

So, when you come before that investor you have to please or the client whose money you want, they too are being bombarded with stats. The challenge is for you to come up with a concise, succulent and memorable piece ditty that hits an important nerve. However, that task is easier said than done.

Sonya Davidson introduced me to an excellent talk by Professor Jennifer Aaker, entitled the “Power of Harnessing Stories”. Her central theme is that studies have repeatedly shown how “stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.”

Buried in her brief talk, Aaker hits on two major take-aways

  1. Stories encourage or empower people to act on your behalf.
  2. Your story should be your “signature”. To take that thought one step further, a story will highlight your passion, proving to your audience just why they will want to join you on your journey.

I was reminded of these points over the last few days when I separately engaged in conversation with two CTOs of different start ups, one located in Israel and one in Europe. One of them did not know who I was. Both had no idea what I could potentially offer. However, both had an opportunity over three to five minutes to deliver a “killer elevator pitch”, yet never really managed to climb beyond the first floor.

Now, I do not want to boast that I could have definitely helped either of them, but how often do they repeat those mistakes? And what about many others like them? And all for the sake of having available one golden nugget of a story.

Remember, be it reeling in new business or that investor who you want to talk to, most opportunities only come around once. The solution, be prepared, and start preparing now.

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