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A Little Bit of Luck – Make Your Stories REAL


With a Little Luck - Make Your Stories Real

by Kelly Vandever

Imagine you’re traveling in a mobile home with your family.  And it breaks down.  It cost $750 to tow the mobile home.  What do you do?

It’s your only form of transportation for you and your family and it contains everything you have with you.  What do you do?

This really happened to a customer of Nationwide insurance.  The customer called Nationwide and said “Help!”

Why Nationwide Is Telling the Story

Nationwide uses a Microsoft tool called Yammer.  It’s an internal collaboration tool that reaches across lines of business and levels of an organization to put the collective brains of an organization to work.  Nationwide shares what happened with this story on Yammer’s website to demonstrate how the tool works.

But by looking closer at the story, I think there’s a lesson we can learn when it comes to telling stories in presentations.

Here’s How the Story Goes.

The agent who took the call went out on Yammer and posted “Hey, here’s the scenario.  Isn’t there something we can do?”  Pretty soon claims reps, product people, marketing, and other leaders joined the conversation giving their perspectives on the situation.

Then Chris Plescia, the Marketing and Collaboration Leader at Nationwide who is helping to tell the story says, “And just by, you know, luck, they kind of had this other policy.  Got that information back to the agent.”

In the end, the good news was they were able to help the family in a matter of hours (versus what would have taken days prior to having the Yammer collaboration too).

Did You Notice What Happened?

Did you notice, how Plescia said, “by…luck.”  By luck, the customer had another policy that covered them under these bizarre circumstances.

If that luck wouldn’t have happened, the story would have ended differently.  Nationwide and Yammer and the agent who started the conversation and the client that decided to buy their policy through Nationwide – no one would have come out the hero — without that little bit of luck.

That bit of luck – makes the story REAL.

Make Your Stories REAL

A lot of organizations when they’re telling stories try to make everything shiny and perfect and what ends up happening is that it all sounds like marketing-speak.  It loses it’s humanness, it’s realness.

The moral of the story for Nationwide and Yammer was that the collaboration tool and Nationwide’s people worked hard to help their customer.

The moral of this post – be real with your stories.  If it’s too shiny and perfect, it won’t ring true to the listener.

Well done Nationwide and Yammer for telling real stories that we can believe and relate to!

Need to Make Your Stories More Real?

Give Kelly a call and see if she can help.  770-597-1108.





Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.