We all love a great story. And in business, this can be a powerful tool. Whether you want to inspire your team, share an idea with colleagues, teach others valuable lessons or motivate prospects to buy – a compelling story can move and persuade people to take action.
Why Storytelling is Effective
- Simple and Timeless. You don’t need a degree in communication to tell a good story. Stories are handed down from generation to generation. You likely have a few you’ve shared with others too.
- Memorable. When you blend a few facts into a good story, people tend to remember. And what we remember, we can easily share.
- Appeal to All Learners. People absorb information differently. Are you familiar with VAK learning styles? Approximately 40% are visual learners, 40% are auditory and 20% are kinesthetic (learn by doing or experiencing). Through mental pictures, words, the tone of voice and emotion, a good story works for all learners.
- Subtle and Informal. Most people are open to new ideas and suggestions, but rarely like to be told what to do. Stories provide a way to teach valuable lessons in a way that is informal and doesn’t appear arrogant.
What Makes a Story Compelling?
A compelling story is often about conflict and how you or others dealt with it. It combines facts with emotion by addressing the following:
- What challenge or problem are you faced with?
- What obstacles (3-4) are standing in your way?
- How did you confront these obstacles?
- What was the outcome or result?
Storytelling has become popular in marketing as a way to tell your ‘company’ story in a more compelling way. But it can be used effectively in other areas too. Create a story around your vision and share it with your team. Add emotion and storytelling to your next sales or business presentation to help you ink the deal or drive home key messages. Use stories about a customer experience to help your staff improve customer service. The list is endless.
So why do small businesses hesitate to use this approach in marketing? According to my favorite storyteller, Adrienne Richardson, fear of putting yourself out there and showing vulnerability tends to stop many of us.
Others simply believe they don’t have a good story to tell. Since most people have experienced challenges in life – growing up, starting a business, changing jobs, losing a loved one, we all have a story to tell. You simply need to be willing to share it.
Tips to Become a Better Storyteller
- Start with the end in mind. What is the message you want to deliver – the one that will linger with your audience? Then work backward!
- Be authentic. Stories are compelling when you are sincere.
- Be concise. Most experts believe that storytelling in business should be 3-5 minutes. A story isn’t a 30-60 second commercial nor is it a bedtime novel.
- Be creative. Good stories have ups and downs to build intensity. Give some thought to the words you choose. Visual and persuasive words can add imagery and encourage action.
Is there a story in your future? Give it a try. Create one, practice it and deliver it with passion. Don’t be afraid to get feedback and suggestions from others. In no time at all, you’ll turn your conversations or presentations into something truly memorable.
Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?
Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com