Businesses connect with customers when they can identify with their stories. These 11 storytelling tips will help you show us your story more effectively.
Dr. Alan Kay, computer pioneer, says, “Scratch the surface of a typical boardroom and we’re all just cavemen, with briefcases, hungry to hear stories from a wise person.” Alan Kay. Recent neuroscience research has shown that our brains are hardwired to respond positively to stories. It is like a child craving candy.
Although storytelling is a powerful tool in business communication, most people don’t use it.
You need storytelling to help you position your brand in a competitive market, communicate your values and vision to stakeholders, sell your products or services to them, or get your message across to staff members. Michael Margolis is the CEO and founder of the storytelling training company Get Started. He says that story is your ultimate currency. Your story is your currency. This is how people buy your message or purchase your product or hire you to do a task.
These 11 tips will help you harness the power of storytelling to make your voice heard above the noise of the crowd.
Simplicity is your guide
Businesspeople are often reluctant to include stories in communications with customers or employees. This is due to the false belief that a story must have a complicated structure and be subject to strict rules. It is impossible to find anything more truthful. An effective story structure is very simple. Simply tell people about where you are, what happened, and why you are telling them this story. End of the story.
After you have mastered the art of telling stories, you can move on to more complex structures. Karen Dietz, Lori L. Silverman and Lori L. Silverman have created 11 story structures in Business Storytelling For Dummies to help you tell a memorable story to your audiences. The “I’m Better Off”, for example, is a story about a struggle and eventual redemption. It tells of losing everything and getting something better.
Evangelize Your Storytelling
Native Americans say that it takes a thousand voices in order to tell one story. It takes everyone in the organization to tell your story. You don’t have to be the only person telling your company’s story. Encourage everyone to share the corporate story. Make them storytelling ambassadors. Storytelling is a way to combat complacency. Get people excited about sharing your company’s story.
Describe the reason to show us your story
Your story should have a message. It must convey a clear message to your listeners. It must have a purpose and make an argument. In business, a story without a message can be pointless. Sometimes you can be bold enough to ask for the action. Entrepreneur Chris Brogan states that a business story should end with the reader (who is a character of another type) getting a sense of the potential outcomes of the lessons learned.
Prune Your Details
We often add too much detail because we are so in love with our stories. This can backfire because people will start to lose interest in your story and not understand where you are going. This can be avoided by writing your story and then taking a break for a few days. Start editing. Consider whether all the story elements you have added to your argument are really necessary. Reduce unnecessary details if they don’t. Allow people to see the story in enough detail that they can understand the context. Too many details can hinder people’s ability to visualize your story.
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Include dialogue in your stories. This means that you shouldn’t tell a story from the third person. For your listeners, repeat the words that the person speaking your story used. Replace “He was shocked about the error I made” by “He said, “I can’t understand how you could have made such an error.” Dialog personalizes your story and makes it more memorable. Dialog “causes additional brain areas in listeners’ brains light up,” states Ron Crossland , a leadership development consultant . This will make them pay more attention to your words. Crossland states, “Using dialogue significantly increases a story’s stickiness.”
Polish Your Skills
All of us are born storytellers. It’s something that we have done all our lives. However, storytelling is a skill that can be improved with practice. Whoever tells the best story wins by Annette Simmons. This book will help you get started and take your storytelling skills to the next level. This book contains some tips and tricks for storytelling as well as exercises to help you create your stories. TED has a large collection of storytelling talks.
Start collecting stories
You need to have a variety of stories as a business owner. These stories should include your personal and professional story, as well as what you believe in. Stories that reflect your vision, illuminate your purpose, and explain why you do what your do are important. Also, create stories that teach people something. For example, how to deal with conflict or negotiations, or how to be respectfully criticized.
You need to tell a story that will position your brand in the minds and hearts of your customers, as well as other stakeholders. Robert Rose is co-author of Marketing Content: A Real-World Guide to Creating Passionate Subscribers To Your Brand. He outlines a 10-step process within his article: a rel=”http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/03/brand_storytelling-content marketing-heros-journey Brand Storytelling 10 Steps to Get Started with Your Content Marketing Hero’s Adventure. “
Master Transmedia Storytelling
It is important to tell the same story across all media platforms. This is known as transmedia storytelling. This means that your story must be shared on Facebook and Twitter, Google +, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, and other social media platforms. This will allow you to be heard and present wherever your consumers or constituents are. This is how your audience processes information.
FBCGlobal, a marketing communication agency, stated that liquid content must be adaptable to allow it to be distributed across all media. Each medium adds a different level to your story. Each piece enhances the story and feeds the conversation. According to the FBC Global video, “Transmedia strategies build strong emotional connections with an audience.” It generates buzz in all media and creates a lasting audience for your brand. This is an important trend that you should not ignore.
Make sure your story rings true
Personal stories pack the most punch. These stories are true. Telling a story in your own voice is the best way to tell it. Use common language and speak from your heart. You won’t be able to engage your listeners if you use what Dan Pink refers to as ” professionalese”.
A good tip is to review your “About Us” page on your website. Is it telling your story? Is it representative of you? This is a great place to show us your story. These are just a few examples: HubSpot, an Inbound Marketing Software company; Canva, which is a free graphic design platform; author Charles Duhigg, Mark Cuban, Lizzie Edwards, image and wardrobe consultant Lizzie Edwards, and David Lebovitz, pastry chef and cookbook author.
Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO at social media marketing software company Likable local. He also created Storytellit which is a free tool that allows you to tailor content to your business and tell a story. It connects all your social media accounts, and provides content for you to post. These five ways Storytellit can help your business are highlighted.
show us your story, Not Just Read It
Don’t ever read your story. Practice telling your story for as long as you can. Although it may not be perfect, no one is looking for perfection. Listeners want to be engaged, inspired, and entertained. Talk directly to them and get them to listen to what you have to share.
Stories capture our attention and motivate us. Stories can inspire and change our minds. An authentic, well-told story can help you become more trustworthy and inspire others to work with you. Stories are what make your message stick. This age-old tradition should not be forgotten. show us your story.