Humans love stories. We always have. Lately, the business world has begun to recognize the power of storytelling.
Here are five reasons storytelling can help your business and five tips for crafting a memorable story.
1. Stories are Part of Our DNA
Long before we had a written language, we told stories. We sat in tribes around campfires and share stories. These were stories about hunting and finding food. They were stories about danger. They taught us lessons that kept us alive, that helped us survive. They are embedded into our DNA. We are programmed to respond to stories.
2. Stories EntertainMost business communication is boring. We read what is necessary because we seek information. It’s not that we enjoy the process. Few people read business or marketing communications for the entertainment value. We read stories to be entertained. If you can share your message in a story that entertains, more people
3. Stories are Remembered
When we share a story, we are sharing lessons. Each of Christ’s parables embedded lessons we study today. Aesop’s Fables included lessons and morals. The lessons are remembered because the stories are memorable.
4. Stories Evoke EmotionsTold correctly, utilizing the senses, the audience of a story is pulled into the narrative. The audience feels what the storyteller feels. This is important because people make decisions for emotional reasons and seek ways to logically justify it afterwards.
5. Stories Persuade
Because they evoke emotions, stories can persuade. A business leader can use stories to bring the team around to adopt his viewpoint. A marketer can use them to persuade people to choose on company over another.
Tips for Crafting Compelling Stories
There are literally books written about telling stories. Here are five quick tips that will get you off to a good start.
1. Include ConflictA good story has conflict. There is tension and suspense. The storyteller creates a
2. Take a Journey
Most stories involve some kind of journey. The storyteller carries you from Point A to Point B and what happens along the way changes the protagonist. Some stories are the evolution or arc of a character. Some involve physical journeys. Others are emotional. The journey keeps us interested.
3. Communicate a MoralIn a business setting, your story should be designed around a moral or lesson. What is the point of the story? What is the message you are trying to convey? Often, the moral is summed up at the very end.
4. Include a Beginning, Middle, and End
There is a reason most plays consist of three acts. Most good stories have a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning sets the stage. The middle is the journey. The end should never be revealed until the end. Otherwise, we lose interest.
5. FocusIt is easy to stress the unimportant in a story. For business storytelling, it is essential that you trim the story down to the most important elements. Keep a tight
To start your storytelling, create two versions of your company’s origin story. One is for employees. The other is for the community. The origin story can be part of your employee recruiting program or it can be part of your orientation. It helps give purpose for the company. It shares the why of what you are doing.
The community focused origin story can be used with customers, at home shows, and when speaking at a service club or networking group. By nature, a community focused origin story will help you stand apart from your competitors, make your brand more memorable, and give people a reason to seek you for business.
For more business advice, help, and free contractor focused downloads, visit the Service Roundtable at www.ServiceRoundtable.com or call 877.262.3341.