When you want to make a point to your employees or customers, tell them a story! We are hard-wired for stories — it’s how we make sense of the world. We’ve listened to stories from the time we were children, and every culture — including every business culture — has its own set of stories.
So how do you tell a good story in a business setting? How is it similar and different?
Telling stories for business is like telling stories in any setting, in that you should:
- Introduce the characters
- Set the scene.
- Describe the conflicts the characters face and what’s at stake.
- Tell what happens next … and next.
- Tell how the story ends and what the characters have learned.
The difference for business storytelling can be found in the graphic below. Rather than telling a story to entertain, a business story should be planned with tangible objectives and have a desired outcome.
For example: When we developed the combined web site for Tidewater Youth Services Commission and Tidewater Youth Services Foundation, we told success stories about Dominik and Jesse, youths who had been helped by the agency. We also provided testimonials and client letters from grateful parents. The purpose of these stories were to inspire readers to get involved by donating to or volunteering for the agency.
Showing “real life” examples of success stories is a much more effective way to build community and make connections than simply providing facts and figures.
Need help finding, writing and buzzing your great stories? That’s what we do at The Buzz Factoree. Email us or give us a call at 757-930-0032.
- Storytelling: Why it works for business (thebuzzfactoree.com)
- What IS a Story? Kendall Haven Provides a Scientific Definition (Yes, Scientific) (thebuzzfactoree.com)
- How to find journalists to pitch on Twitter through Muck Rack (thebuzzfactoree.com)
- Seven things Oprah’s last show can teach us about storytelling (thebuzzfactoree.com)
- “It’s Not Your Story” (communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com)
- Finding a Story Under an Exit Ramp: Homeless Man’s Life Changes Overnight (thebuzzfactoree.com)
- Is social media effective? Here’s what chief marketing officers say. (thebuzzfactoree.com)
- A storytelling charity? (nickcouldry.com)
- My summer at Simply Business: An intern’s view (simplybusiness.co.uk)
- ♦ Using Story (davidgsavage.com)