What’s the big deal about storytelling, anyway? If you attended #PWIB14 earlier this month and participated our mini storytelling workshop, you would have perhaps experienced the answer to that question.
Eileen and I had a ton of ideas and debates on what to cover in the session, until we resolved that the best way to add value was to have people, even for a moment, look at themselves and their businesses in a new light and plant a seed towards embracing authentic business stories.
As I confessed on Facebook, before we were about to present I said to Eileen in a moment of stage fright “I feel really light-headed, I think I’m gonna vomit” to which she pragmatically pointed at the nearby trash can in a ‘the show must go on, it’s about overcoming fears and creating value’ sort of way.
That’s like the running theme of my life in the last few months: choosing a greater vision over fears even if it means potentially fainting in public.
Storytelling is a bit like that. A bit of fright and panic is a good thing. When a good, authentic story is about to unfold, there will be a feeling vulnerability and maybe even dread. It means you’re offering something real and taking a risk.
I could list a hundred reasons why storytelling is essential for business. Storytelling is, after all, our most effective form of communication, how we build connection and actives the mind and heart in ways nothing else can.
But for now, I will leave you will this: storytelling is one of the most powerful crafts in the world. Business storytelling can bring you PR, media attention, even fame, but it’s more than that.
Your business stories are what weaves you company together. It’s why you get up in the morning. It’s why people buy from you. It’s why people work with you and how your product or service came about. It’s why your company is relevant in today’s society and the values and code of conduct in how you operate. When you know your stories, you know your relevance and everyone else will too.
Whether you attended the session or not, here are a 5 tips to get you going on your storytelling journey:
1. COLLECT YOUR STORIES – so many people we meet say “I don’t have a story” or I don’t know my story” but I assure you, you do. You just have to dig and interview the people that hold those stories. Here’s a few questions to get you going:
2. MAKE A LIST OF STORIES YOU LIKE / RELATE TO– who are people you admire? Why? What happened? What are some of the brands you like? What do you like about them? What experience do you have buying from them? The stories you’re attracted to will give you clarity around your own business stories
3. ARTICULATE YOUR VISION AND CORE COMPANY VALUES – what do you seek to achieve as an organisation? What impact do you want to create? What is important to you as a company? What underpins your company culture? What is the character of your company? Your values and business stories go hand in hand. Your stories give life and credence to your values. Where are they, or are they not, showing up in your company
4. MAKE A LIST OF PLACES YOU CAN SHARE YOUR STORIES – What are your current touch points? Where are you currently communicating? Do they currently reflect and include your business stories and values? What are some of the ways you can share? Do you blog, have company outings or unique initiates, videos, are your values infused into your copy/personality/communication of your company?
5. SHARE YOUR STORIES – make one action a week where your stories and values can be shared, whether it’s in a newsletter, a Facebook post, a wall hanging, an event.
6. (Bonus!) GET SOME HELP SHARING YOUR STORIES – many times, we can’t see or identify our own stories. And them when we do, we’re still stuck in learning how to deploy them in an effective way. The beauty of storytelling though, it once you have it down, your brand and marketing strategy become self-evident because you have the most important ingredient of all: the content. So get some help. It can be Eileen and I, or another talented content story weaver, but do whatever it takes to get them off the ground.
This post was originally posted on Executive Lifestyle 🙂 http://www.executivelifestyle.sg/share-business-story/