Merger Message: Tell a Compelling Story With mergers and acquisitions continuing apace, many incentive and sales meetings have become opportunities for senior executives to address newly combined troops. Don't create a presentation that simply runs through the rationale for a merger. Share the company's values and vision. That's how you get commitment, not just compliance, says Peter Giuliano, founder and chairman of Executive Communications Group, an Englewood, N.J.-based consultancy. Delivering the message--the vision and values--by telling a story means you get attendees emotionally involved. "Every great leader knows how to tap into the emotional center of people," Giuliano says. "Logic and facts have never moved anybody."
Find a story that fits your message by looking into your personal life and background--or into your experiential life, into what you've heard and read, he advises. "The key is you have to relate to it. If it isn't something you relate to, don't do it. You won't tell it well."
Communication is critical during a merger or any major corporate change. "There are two myths about change," Giuliano says. "One, that people always resist change and two, that change has to be managed." You can't manage change any more than you can manage a stampede, he says. Rather, "You lead change. And people don't resist change, they resist the unknown. You must make the change real, with employees in the picture. Paint a compelling future view." The most memorable and effective way to do that: Tell a story.