How to Be a Better Listener So You Can Craft More Powerful Stories


The other day I was in a Zoom meeting with a group of prospects when… 

…I realized I had zoned out — completely. 

I don’t know for how long I had not been listening. 

I just knew I was staring at the squirrel in the tree outside my office window. 

Yep, my gray matter had turned from businessman brain (listening and learning from my prospects) to dog brain (ooooh…squirrel!). 

What a shock to the system. 

Listening is hard. It’s a skill that you must hone and practice. 

And here’s why that’s important: 

If you want to craft stories that attract prospects, keep them tuned in, inspire them to act, you have to KNOW your prospects. You have to know: What is their current state? Where do they want to go? 

And to do that, you have to listen.

Without listening effectively, you won’t know your prospects as well as you could. So you won’t connect with them as well as you’d like. 

Here’s a cool TED Talk called “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation” that includes great tips to become a better listener. 

But even if you implement all the tips and become a master listener, you still can miss important bits when you converse (especially true with online conversations). 

That’s why I use listening crutches. Soon after the pandemic hit, I began recording and transcribing every call and web conference I have. I ask participants permission, and then I fire up the recorder. 

Zoom has a setting to record conferences to the cloud or your computer. If someone else is hosting the meeting, or it’s a conversation via phone or some other platform, I put the call on speaker and use an app on my phone to record it. 

Then, after you record the call, you can use a voice-to-text transcription application to produce a (nearly) verbatim record. 

There are two I like a lot. And I’ve created a video to show you how they work.

Those videos are in the “Tools & Resources” section of the new Story Power Marketing app. There’s plenty more useful stuff (that’s free) in the app. Go to, enter your email address, and we’ll send you a link and instructions to download and activate the app — quickly and easily.

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.