First of all, there are many interpretations of what a “story” is. I enjoy reading others’ interpretations of story and enjoy discussing how it relates to business. Today, I wanted to outline why I feel storytelling is one of the most important things to your company.
For this blog post, I think it’s important to present a definition of story that I believe in. The following definition really resonates with me and is based on thoughts in an essay I came across by Bill Johnson.
Story – A story is about taking an audience on a journey to a resolution and answering the question of “why.”
Well, there it is. Short and sweet. But, how is storytelling related to your business?
Everyone loves a good story. People enjoy going on an adventure, learning, growing and ultimately getting fulfillment at the end. If your business can emulate this type of feeling for your customers, then you can really connect on an entirely different level.
Here are some ways to integrate storytelling within your business:
- Start presentations with a story – Have you ever been on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next Powerpoint slide? No, I didn’t think so. People don’t enjoy reading Powerpoint slides or having you read Powerpoint slides. If you have a point you want to get across….tell your audience a story. If you want to introduce yourself, tell a story. Take your audience on a quick journey and kick-off the presentation the right way.
- Encourage your clients to tell a story – If you are identifying requirements or establishing the objectives for a project, encourage clients to tell a story. Often, a client’s story can tell you a lot about how they truly feel. You can see how they deliver the story, witness their facial expressions, etc. You also can see things more clearly from their perspective.
- Obtain stories from your employees – The experiences your employees have with customers should be preserved. After all, you’re probably not the only one who interacts with clients on a daily basis. During status meetings or other recurring events, get your employees to discuss a recent client story. This way, you’ll be able to learn from everyone in the organization.
- Share stories on your website – In most cases, your solutions page or services page is too broad. In order to connect with existing or potential clients, share success stories. Even if a viewer isn’t directly related to the client featured in the success story, they can probably relate to many aspects (i.e., challenges).
Ultimately, the emotional connection you make with your audience is very important. You can really influence your audience by conveying emotion, feelings and answering “why” you do what you do. Speaking from the heart unleashes these emotions and helps engage your viewer. I encourage you to use the power of storytelling to help grow your business.
Tristan Pelligrino is the co-owner of 522 Productions (video production dc) and specializes in telling stories through video. Tristan also runs 522 Digital, a digital marketing agency in Northern Virginia.