We are in the“Connection Economy” and business is no longer about the stuff that we make, but about the stories we tell. Telling tales is more than simple entertaining. Stories are the primary way humans learn about the world because we’re social creatures. Stories make us think, make us feel. They help us remember ideas and concepts.
When I work with clients and give workshops I use storytelling more than numbers, graphs and text on a slide. It might seem bizarre in in the era of PowerPoint and status updates where many of us have forgotten how to tell a good story. We spend increasing amounts of time consuming content on the web, storytelling is a skill that every business will need to master to attract and maintain customers and followers. We are all consumers and producers. The businesses that effectively engage and influence, use individual personal stories or personalities to share their purpose. They do not tell their customers, they show they care and why they care through the human power of stories. Stories help us persuade, inspire and motivate. Life happens in the narratives we share with one another. A story can reach further than quantitative analysis as it reaches directly our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act. Why is that? Because a story drives emotional engagement. Emotional engagement paired with rational engagement results into enhanced business performance.
Let me share with you a few tips:
- Don't start your story by telling “let me tell you a story”. It can cause a bias or resistance in your audience. The intention is not telling a story per-se rather creating a moment of truth a moment that connects you with your audience on the emotional level.
- Be in the story, connect on a personal level with your audience to build trust.
- Every story should have a clear storyline or theme. Let's take for example your personal journey:
- Who you were when you started your journey.
- What did you struggle against as you started to create change.
- What unique tool or insight did you gain that made overcoming this challenge easier.
- Who you are today.
The best storytellers understand the critical elements of writing, which are skills that few in business have been formally trained to do. Today's strongest team will have room for new roles like creative content director to focus on increasing consumer emotional involvement through social media and content marketing stories as well as on weaving the brand storyline into experiences and marketing initiatives.
You already have stories I can support you to put them to work for you as a leader, trainer, or sales person. I will help you to identify and craft your stories to be more compelling, memorable and profitable. You can book me as:
- keynote speaker. So I can tell you some inspiring and educational stories I haven't told you in this article;
- trainer: half-day customised workshop on skill building or full-day workshop on storytelling for conflict resolution.
- Telling tales retreat (4-6 attendees max) multi-day advanced presentation skills and storytelling intensive. Just telling a story is not enough. If it’s the wrong story, told in a non effective way and without a strategic view it is a waste of everyone’s time.