We’re wired for stories (See also [[Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die]]@mbi. Take advantage of this. Stories don’t have to be long and elaborate; a story can be simple and short. A story can be a sentence long. It can be a side comment thrown in as you’re talking about something else. Stories make your presentation more memorable. They add vividness. They show benefits. They offer social proof. Here is a story: “When we decided to dump Subversion and use Mercurial we saved six weeks on our merge time before launches.” One sentence, but a powerful story anyway. It implies a bunch of things: we used SVN, but had issues with it (likely the same ones they are having); we successfully switched off it; we save time with Mercurial; we can actually do merges now; the prospect could do the same thing; we could probably help them do it. Most good stories have a villain (or an obstacle) and a solution. In my one sentence story above, SVN is the villain, and its nefarious henchmen are the ridiculous tribulations of merge week month(s). The solution is Mercurial. Just think obstacle-solution, that’s the basic formula. The single-sentence SVN story is vastly more memorable than any list of features you could spew out. Will our prospect remember the cool electric DAG we built for Kiln? I don’t know, but I can almost guarantee he will remember that we used to use SVN, that we got off it, and that we made life better for ourselves. Constantly keep an eye out for stories you can use, whether they come from your company, or the people you talk to. “I was just talking to someone last week who had their year’s supply of ice cream ooze all over the basement floor because the power went out. He bought a generator from me yesterday!” Of course, don’t make stuff up. It’s never OK to lie to your prospects.