Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. – Native American Proverb
With increasing competition in the market place, it is critical to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary in order to achieve winning results and storytelling has a place at the heart of this movement.
It comes as no great surprise that storytelling has been used throughout time to inform, educate, inspire and entertain long before technology began. Stories stay in our minds, helping us to remember ideas in a way that numbers and figures on a balance sheet or slide show could never do. Yet, what is surprising, is that while we all use storytelling in our day-to-day lives to ‘spice’ up the information we are relaying, a lot of us overlook its great potential within business. Using a story-driven campaign helps communicate the spirit of a brand in ways that engage, build community interaction and evoke an emotional response.
You have two options in business. You can either be memorable and a talking point or you can be forgettable and in the background. Why send a memo with facts and figures when the CEO could engage on a more personal level. Notes on a page don’t inspire, nor are they memorable but a well told tale that has a natural link to the business and the underlying message you are trying to get across, will stay with someone far longer.
However, there is a massive difference between a good story and a great story. A good story hooks its audience, taking them on a memorable journey and delivers a message that they won’t forget. A great story inspires and makes people take action.
When plotting your story think of it like a good book or film. It must have an interesting beginning and a happy ending but in the middle there is the journey – with all the highs, lows, disappointments and challenges – that draws in the reader or listener.
If I have one piece of advice for you it would be to think of storytelling as part of your job description. Don’t view it as an option but a necessity. Do this and I guarantee people will start talking about you and your business.