If I want to have a beer with you, then I like you. If I don't want to have a beer with you, then I don't like you. If I like you, then I will vote for you.
According to the beer surveys, voters wanted to have a cold one with Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama more than Jimmy Carter, Bob Dole, John Kerry and John McCain.
That's the "Beer Theory" and it works. Likeability wins.
While we are having that beer, go one step farther. Tell me a story. Tell me what you will do for me. Tell me in a way I can remember. If you do, then I will hire you, vote for you, and work harder for you. Remember how hard people worked for Obama, a likable storyteller.Likeability and Storytelling are personal communication skills that are not handed down through genetics, but are learned through practice.
Likeability: What makes someone likable? A study done by Albert Mehrabian at UCLA in 1971 discovered that 55 percent of a person's likeability is based on the "visual" (how you look) and 38 percent the "vocal" (how you sound). Just 7 percent is the "verbal" (what you say). People like you based on how you use your voice, face, and body posture.
Unfortunately, most of us spend a lifetime using our face, voice, and posture to stop communication by putting up negative protective walls. We are experts in self-protection. These protection skills prevent us from being our most likable selves. Likeability comes when you learn to take down the walls and connect in a helpful manner.
If you greet people, hold a meeting, or give a speech with a welcoming face, voice, and posture, then you are saying, "I have no secrets" ... "I am here to help" ... "We are on the same team."
In work, play and politics, we want our leaders to be on our team. Just like our beer buddies, we want our leaders to be likable.
Storytelling: As leaders, we are always looking for ways to improve our message. Stories focus our message. Speakers love data, facts, and figures. Audiences like stories. Think of The Bible, the most popular book in the history of the world. It has one page of rules, The Ten Commandments, and the rest are stories people remember. Stories help. Stories make our complicated message simple and personal. Stories make our message powerful and memorable.
The best communicators are storytellers, and anybody can tell a good story. It doesn't matter if it's an interview, sales pitch, or convention speech, professional stories help our audience like us, trust us, remember us, and want to work with us.
When people relate your stories to others they are campaigning for you!
Real leadership inspires and motivates. Inspiration and motivation are not intellectual concepts. They are emotional, imaginative and helpful. Storytelling and Likeability are invaluable tools for being a more inspirational and motivational leader. So practice your Likeability and Storytelling skills . . . and then go have a beer.