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ShakeIt is said that Shakespeare plays and poems represent ALL the major human story lines in some form or another.

It’s also said that all movies and plays that followed Shakespeare’s time are just reinterpretations of those completed works.

I’m hardly a Shakespeare expert, but this theory is fairly well documented.

However, this got me thinking about auctioneers’ stories. If one group of people can tell stories, auctioneers certainly can and do.

I wondered if there was a pattern to these stories. For instance, could they be categorized in types, where any story would fall into one of those categories? I think maybe so.

Here’s 10 categories which might characterize most all auctioneer stories:

    1. Surprise! Nobody showed up.
    2. Surprise! Everyone showed up.
    3. Surprise! We found a widget.
    4. Surprise! The widget was worth a lot.
    5. Surprise! The widget was worthless.
    6. Surprise! We broke or lost the widget.
    7. Surprise! It rained or snowed or was hot or was cold.
    8. Surprise! Someone’s crazy: the seller, the family and/or the bidders.
    9. Surprise! The tent blew down, house caught on fire, horses ran away.
    10. Surprise! Bidding hijinks: Bought back, bid against, didn’t bid against, etc.

At the time of this writing, I’ve been at an auctioneer winter conference for only a few days and have heard #2, #4, #6 and #9 type-stories in less than 36 hours.

I’m ever-so guilty. I tell auction stories during our auction school classes, during auction education presentations, and even have a class built around me discussing auction-related legal cases (stories.)

As well, some of my blogs are constructed around a story describing the particular concept being explored.

Quite frankly, people learn better when theories or propositions are discussed or couched within a story. Stories give concepts context, form … a reality.

Given the propensity for auctioneers to tell stories, and the value they have in presentations and the like, auctioneers can be great presenters.

If you are an auctioneer, or around auctioneers, it might be interesting to gauge if the story being told fits into one of our 10 categories.

I’m willing to bet it might.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.