Nearly everyone on this planet has one thing in common – the love of a good story. As staples at bedtime and in board rooms alike, what makes a “good” story is highly debatable. Actual good stories last years, decades, centuries and even millennia. Businesses that aren’t telling stories are simply losing out on engagement with new audiences. Here are five key tips in telling stories for success in any business:
1.Keep it simple: Simplicity is bliss. Once consumers have to start trying to figure out where you’re going or remember random facts they will likely give up. Don’t overcomplicate the story. Sometimes it takes an outside person to see the full picture and edit your story down. Certain facts that may be relevant for you don’t matter to the end user.
2.Success lies in truth: Making up stories may work in advertising but never in an actual news item or business pitch. Get your facts ironed out and straight first. Assuming makes an… well you know.
3.Make it relevant: Relevancy means that when telling a story it may not be about your business at all. This is a little thing called pitching the problem and not the solution. The minute you start out selling your service or product, many minds may shut you out very quickly or just hit “delete”. On the other hand, people can relate to specific problems. It is up to you to find the “why now” and make it relevant for your target audience.
4.Find the right way to tell it: Is your story best heard or seen? Vine or YouTube? Blog or tweet? Pin or post? In person or online? There are a multitude of ways to tell your story. Boiling the ocean is usually not a valid way for most businesses, so determine where your target audience would most appreciate hearing or seeing your story. It also depends on how concise the story is. Do the research in advance and determine exactly who you want to hear the story and go where they are.
5.Begin with the end in mind: Know the result you want people to remember. It sounds amazingly simple but it’s not for some. Your story should have a direct line to the conclusion. Each syllable that is spoken should fit into the end thought. People remember more about how they feel about something than the actual words. If you begin with how you want them to feel after the story, you’re a hundred steps ahead.
The next time you have the opportunity to get your point across, tell a story. Keep these tips in mind and tailor them to your efforts. You may be surprised where it gets you.