The Story of Business Storytelling
Discover the three stages of good storytelling.
Stories are powerful things. They fire our imaginations and stir our emotions. They can move us to action, but just as easily reduce us to tears.
In the business world, stories help you communicate more effectively, build rapport with customers, and gain buy-in for your ideas.
With this simple structure, you'll be able to create stories that engage and inspire your audience.
Chapter 1: The Hook
All good stories begin with a hook: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
With this famous opener, Jane Austen sets the scene for "Pride and Prejudice." It tells the reader what to expect from the book whilst hinting at Austen's subversive intent.
In business storytelling, the first question you need to ask yourself is, "What do you want your story to achieve?" Are you trying to sell an idea to a prospective client, or do you want your team members to buy into a new initiative? Consider the wants and needs of your audience, and how you can tailor your delivery to appeal to them.
Chapter 2: The Opportunity
You've convinced your audience to listen to what you have to say. But they'll quickly lose interest if you don't give them a reason to stick around.
Using clear, unequivocal language, explain what they stand to gain by investing in your story, or what they stand to lose by ignoring it.
Commercially speaking, this could translate into anything from improved sales to more efficient working practices, but it's crucial that your audience understands what's at stake. Use facts and figures to help get your message across, and explain in concrete terms what's going to happen next.
Chapter 3: The Close
The final chapter of your story is where you tie up loose ends. Just as Elizabeth Bennet marries Mr. Darcy at the close of "Pride and Prejudice," your story needs to conclude in a way that doesn't leave any questions unanswered.
Wrap things up by reinforcing the points you raised in the previous chapter. This will make your story memorable, reminding your audience why they were interested in the first place. If you've told your story well, they'll want to return to it again and again.
To learn more about business storytelling, see the article that accompanies this video.