Terry O’Reilly talks powerful storytelling during keynote at Georgian

Click here to view original web page at www.barrietoday.com
Terry O'Reilly. Photo supplied by Georgian College.

What’s the power of marketing? You need to move people emotionally through your messaging – and the most effective way to do that is through powerful storytelling.

That’s the message advertising industry legend Terry O’Reilly brought to the Barrie Campus of Georgian College on Tuesday, March 27.

O’Reilly shared his insights on, If you don’t have a story... you don’t have a business, to a packed theatre filled with students, alumni, staff and supporters. He had a unique and insightful viewpoint on what it truly takes to connect with today’s customers. Through his own funny and insightful stories, he explained that advertising research has proven people are more inclined to make decisions from the heart, rather than the head.

“If you want to persuade, you need to make people feel your message, not just understand it,” said O’Reilly. “One of the most fundamental rules of marketing is that trust needs to be felt and not stated. Don’t tell them ‘trust me,’ tell them a story that illustrates how you provided a trustworthy experience with a customer.”

He added that storytelling can convey intangible benefits, attract a new audience, and has a very long shelf life. He urged audience members to begin harvesting stories from real life and filing them away for future use.

“I’m a story hunter,” he said. “They are powerful marketing tools and you have to tune your antennae to recognize them. You may not use them right away, but they will be there when you need them.”

Following his keynote he answered questions from the audience.

His 45-minute keynote address was part of the Henry Bernick Medal Awards presentation. The medal commemorates the qualities of its namesake, Henry Bernick. Medals were presented to:

  • Student Entrepreneur – Avery Konda (Growing Georgian)
  • Community Entrepreneur – Nathan Patterson (LinkGreen)
  • Entrepreneurs’ Champion – Sandy Robertson (Georgian Angels)

The event was proudly sponsored by Barriston Law, BDC, BDO, Larche Communications and Sun Life Financial.