Because just as I said earlier, good stories engage better. As much as business storytelling is touted as an easy solution to business communication, there’s no way around the fact that developing this skill requires time, energy, and often money. This will lead the audience to care about you and consequently your product or service. These days, she says, “everything is very scheduled.” Instead of bumping into each other and chatting, we have to schedule a Zoom meeting. For almost an hour, she heard nothing—waiting inside the building, as instructed, while the fire was being investigated. Ensure that you keep this story consistent across all mediums e.g. Whether you are using a story in a pitch, an advert etc, you are less likely to lose your audience's attention. The best stories evoke emotional reactions - people genuinely relate and connect with these stories and they believe in the company and what it stands for. Understanding each other better is also important during divided times. 70% of US employees are not engaged or actively disengaged from work, generated 50% more income and increased in value. People will relate to this as we have all experienced mistakes and failures. In fact, stories are needed for a successful corporate culture because if done right, corporate storytelling will increase employee performance. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. When you come up with an idea for your business there will be a story behind it - whether it's to do with developing a new product or growing your business. Share what's important with your employees and explain what this means for them. In this article we discuss the importance of storytelling in business and provide examples. Business storytelling is storytelling with a purpose to establish a professional connection or to achieve a goal. So, what happened to Mike Maiorisi when he needed to convince the healthcare customer that his company’s product could meet their needs? I teach classical storytelling to modern leaders through my own practice, Kellogg School of Management and University of Zurich in Switzerland. “Do you want a more engaged audience? Auden complied, but on her way downstairs, she met people coming back up! Due to social media people can now directly engage with brands by asking questions and sharing their thoughts and feelings as though the brand is a person. The success of the business is dependent on the quality of its talent. I help leaders build relationships, credibility & impact via stories. In fact, storytelling is a strong business skill and when implemented effectively, it can boost a business in a number of ways, such as improving customer loyalty, creating a strong marketing strategy, increasing profit and so on. Do you want to come across as an expert? All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. For the past twenty years I’ve been studying, researching and teaching storytelling in business. Do you want to be a facilitator?”. You will be able to establish your company as a strong brand name and can stand out from your competitors more effectively. This shows how a smart storytelling approach can increase the perceived value of something and generate ROI. She has used a technique that requires business storytellers to state their three main points in only 10 words each. Actors spend their lives seeing the way effective storytelling can change an audience. To make the sale, Maiorisi knew that he would have to thoroughly understand the customer’s problem and pain points. Most humans are more receptive to stories than compared to facts or data as stories help us relate, empathise and remember. Spark action stories. How do you really know a person? EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation with Forbes Insights. You may have heard business storytelling during a pep talk by your CEO or maybe one of your colleagues who … If your business has a vision that audiences can believe and buy into then you are more likely to be successful. In fact, it’s wise to question everything. Researchers Walker and Glenn showed the value of storytelling by auctioning off insignificant objects on eBay with heartfelt and purpose-written short stories. Steve Jobs used storytelling to introduce the first iPhone in 2007. They were following the fire brigade’s instructions, they said. For instance, these points could be something like: Liz Gordon, Senior Director of Analytic Services at Barton Cotton. And then, in the end, to be able to share meaningful data with government agencies so they can get funding? One storytelling technique useful in business presentations is using visual elements. To build connections by finding the right stories for each situation, it’s essential to establish a system for capturing your stories. By telling the story of a small, struggling, local business owner who grew his company and managed it more effectively using Cisco, the company was able to humanize information about technology and make their benefits more relatable. Stories can be told in lots of different ways. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or email me. We remember things better when we hear them in story form, and powerful hormones such as oxytocin, the same hormone when you experience trust or kindness, are released in our bodies when we hear a good story. The sense of purpose led to the first group earning more so if you want to trigger action then tell stories. Why does business storytelling matter? they are trying to think of the reasons so they look for stories. Before paper and computers, knowledge and information travelled mostly in the form of stories told orally and over half of human conversations occur through storytelling so it's a natural part of our thinking and communicating. Remembering each other better is especially important during Covid, when people are looking for connections, notes Gordon. At 5:48 a.m., the hotel fire alarm went off. Everyone on her team struggled with the activity. ", whether they are targeting customers, potential employees or stakeholders. His method diverges from the classical communication models typically employed by leaders who see things in linear or transactional ways. Auden left for the conference. Hit The Emotional Quotient. A good brand campaign should also be transparent so consider telling people what the business struggle was and how you pulled through (known as a monomyth story). Storytelling conveys purpose and businesses with purpose are noticed and win the loyalty of consumers. Basically, it means telling stories instead of just listing facts. Not to worry. Humans have always told stories and they're a vital part of our daily communication, but stories have meaning beyond entertainment value. Good Stories Are Seeds to Neuro-Associations. Mike Maiorisi, a customer success manager for a collaborative work management company, knew that to accomplish this, he would need to apply what he’s learned as a business storyteller. There are a number of advantages of storytelling in your branding schemes. In many ways curiosity is the root of learning. This means that to find connection and true unity, we must understand that the other person’s needs may be different from our own. When people listen to a story, they feel what the protagonist of the story is feeling so a good way of using a story to connect with an audience is to tell a story about a mistake you/the company made, a failure or maybe life wasn't going well for you or the company in the past. You can cultivate the right culture at work by using storytelling. We’ve curated some impressive stats, facts, and case studies that demonstrate just why this method has a place in your content strategy. The key is grasping the essence of one another. The most successful companies have deep and thoughtful stories behind them that stir a sense of larger purpose and meaning into what they do, such as Google and Apple who are not just businesses - they are brands made by visionaries who want(ed) to transform the world. And not only that… to be able to visualize this data for their leadership? Practice in our Persuasive Business Storytelling course. Learn how to effectively design, link and tell better stories in our Business Storytelling course. This is especially the case when the story is very relatable, which also has the added benefit of being easier to understand and more memorable as it's personally relevant - the audience can see themselves as the character in the story. In the current situation, reading and learning to tell and adapt stories can benefit both children and adults while assisting homeschooling. Business storytelling during the Covid era provides many meaningful benefits. The top ten companies also generated 50% more income and increased in value more than twice than the companies in the bottom ten. There is so much information that consumers are exposed to so it's easy for a business to be lost in the noise. My students over that period of time, many of them graduates of The Story Theater Retreat, have asked for a video course to keep the skills, competencies and techniques they learned from studying with me fresh.Now that course is … Gordon also notes how relevant distilling information is right now, in the age of virtual meetings. The Benefits of Visual Storytelling. Traditional presenters think of themselves as "sender", the … And how can you trust that a company truly has your best interest in mind? When people engage with your stories you can create beliefs by showing them how you came to believe something. Speakers too often obsess about data and content (and often PowerPoint bells and whistles), to the detriment of the conversation they're supposed to be having with listeners. Storytelling can form a powerful marketing strategy - people want to connect with brands and businesses and the best adverts do this by, again being relatable, or evoking emotions, such as the John Lewis adverts in the UK or this Budweiser advert. To many, “story” may sound like a synonym for “tangent.” Not so, says Liz Gordon, Senior Director of Analytic Services at Barton Cotton, a firm that provides multi-channel fundraising and marketing for nonprofits. Stories can help us get to know people better, says Gordon. You are essentially giving your employees a greater sense of purpose and meaning by making them part of the company's wider story. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand intuitively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of … Once he understood their pain points, he could share the example of a much larger client who was in a very similar situation. Having identified in the last blog post WHY storytelling is important, let’s look at five business storytelling examples for where you can share a story that can sell people into your idea, on becoming part of your community, on your paid offering, or joining your email list – it’s all selling: Quite often you only need to make it clear to someone that … A 2007 study at the Wharton School of Business found that when participants were asked to collect donations in a call center, those who were told how their earnings would improve the lives of others earned more than double the group that didn’t … Storytelling techniques make the best use of the time because they get to the heart of what’s needed. And how can you. How do you really know a person? Employees are the heart of the business, they are the company's best asset and a business only succeeds when its employees do. Storytelling creates a love of language and motivation to read. Often, we know acquaintances as “the person who told that story.” For instance, she says, she still remembers the stories her team members shared during a storytelling workshop she attended with me back in February, eight months before the writing of this article. Business storytelling enables you to empathize with your target audience. To learn more, check out How B2B Brand Storytelling Can Benefit Your Business. People want to buy from companies that they believe care i.e. Understand their hearts. The hotel manager’s voice over the loudspeaker said to stay put. 15 Benefits Of Storytelling To Kids Besides being entertaining, stories offer a myriad of benefits for children and aid in their overall development. For instance, 5:48 a.m. meant a rude awakening. Using storytelling in this way helps the audience to connect with you so they trust you, the human, and therefore they trust the brand. Tell a good story so you show your company's personality and humanity - don't just become a faceless company that consumers feel unconnected from and uninspired to interact with and buy from. Click here to learn more. Curiosity. Spark action stories. However, research indicates that there is widespread non-engagement, for example, Gallup's research suggests that 70% of US employees are not engaged or actively disengaged from work. A business may be selling something that is better than its competitors but decision-making is more emotional than logical so telling a story can help distinguish your company from competitors.Researchers Walker and Glenn showed the value of storytelling by auctioning off insignificant objects on eBa… “All we have right now is our word.”, “Do you want people to pay more attention to you?” asks Maiorisi. For business storytellers, thoroughness shouldn’t be the primary concern. Do your sales people rely too heavily on facts and data, features and benefits? “Being able to tell an effective story led to increased collaboration,” says Maiorisi, “and a more effective partnership because they trusted us and we built on a foundation of trust.”, During the era of Covid, trust is more important than ever, he adds. When Gordon first learned this technique in a Leadership Story Lab training, her group had 65 slides they had to boil down! “No matter the market, ease of use is key.” (9 words), “We should expand into the target market immediately.” (8 words), “We must collaborate in order to achieve this.” (8 words). 5:48, 6:06, 6:16, and 7:12. And like Amanda Palmer’s flip cards endeared her to tens of thousands of strangers, stories can help us build businesses and independent careers. “No matter the market, ease of use is key.” (9 words) “We should expand into the target market immediately.” (8 words) “We must collaborate in order to achieve this.” (8 … In a 2009 speech Bill Gates, after providing statistics on the issues of malaria, opened a jar of mosquitoes in the presentation room. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, uses storytelling to explain how she came up with the product (first couple of minutes). Storytelling in business focuses on the human side of work. How did it connect with “Storytelling for Accountants”? Benefits of Using Storytelling in Your Branding. For example, Wharton School of Business (2007) found that when participants were asked to collect donations in a call centre, those who were told how the money would improve the lives of others earned more than double than the group that were told how the money they earned would improve their own lives. They also stick longer in your audience’s mind. Stories are also highly structured forms of communication so they help with the audience's understanding. This is why more businesses are increasingly recognising the importance of storytelling. The London School of Business did a study on this and it confirmed what was experienced by people who’ve been using storytelling as a means to transfer information and convince people. As … Observe their actions. This is not rocket science. Auden, Director of Finance and Business Services at University of Canberra, had traveled for a conference where she would present on “Storytelling for Accountants.” The night before her big presentation, she set her alarm for 6 a.m. to finish working on the presentation and get ready. Tell this story and provide the context so your customers and stakeholders understand why your service or product is worth buying/investing in. Liz Gordon has found this to be true as well. Storytelling in of itself is perhaps the best way to hit … We remember stories better than other types of information, such as data and facts, because stories are more engaging. “I think we need to be comfortable to celebrate our differences,” he says, rather “than push for a full-on melting-pot style coexistence.”. The key is grasping the essence of one another. This has been highlighted in the Global Empathy Index (2015) where the businesses near the top of the list were amongst the most profitable and fastest growing businesses in the world. So transfer your vision into a captivating story and clearly communicate it using a sincere marketing strategy. We naturally make sense of the world, telling ourselves stories about what is happening and why. So, Auden returned to her room and continued getting ready. What specific benefits does it deliver? Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. If I caught you off-guard, here’s … Remember that humans typically make emotional not rational decisions so being able to evoke emotions through storytelling is a powerful tool. And storytelling helps you nurture that talent. In a time when employees desire a greater sense of purpose and meaning from work, the stories a business tells – where it’s been, where it is going, what its challenges are – are not only elegant ways in which to communicate facts, they are an opportunity to engage and empower employees. Karma Auden, Director of Finance and Business Services at University of Canberra. The data had meaning. Ensure that you're making the story relatable to the audience by using real-life situations as this makes it easier to see why your goods will add value to their lives. When you bring this concept to your professional communication and start taking advantage of the impact of storytelling in business, then you can get your audience to take action like never before. adverts, social medical, your website, your employees etc. When you tell stories, you give listeners a window into your world, which will have similarities to their world but will have important differences as well. At 6:16, an announcement instructed everyone to evacuate the building. If you’re unsold on just why brand storytelling is important, that’s fine. My late father advised me this way: Listen to their words. We have discussed the reasons as to why storytelling is important below. Storytelling in business will provide you with a tool to clearly communicate how you can help potential customers and the benefits they will see as a result of working with you. But it’s also helpful to get the 50,000 foot view.”. Each business needs to use storytelling to answer the simple question of "why should people care? Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people. Storytelling is an essential aspect of human life, and it plays an equally important role in business. 4 Reasons Business Storytelling Matters In The Covid Era. Rather, your first concerns should be whether the story is informative, entertaining, and lets the audience know what to do as a result of hearing it. We can’t meet with people in person. If you know how to effectively tell a story, then potential customers will see your business as the logical solution to their problems. Simply, stories are very engaging. Vocabulary, comprehension, sequencing, memory and creative writing all benefit from storytelling. 6 Storytelling Tips to Tell a Great Business Story What was happening with my new client was a common occurrence in business. It’s wise to “know your why” before investing. So use storytelling to show your company's empathetic nature as this is more likely to lead to your company's success. You can have a mix of testimonials, case studies, blog posts, pictures, and videos. Business storytelling gives you the opportunity to explore your ‘why’ and build interest in your brand and what you have to offer. The connection between storytelling and literacy is well established. This will give them something to believe in and consequently they will believe in the company and their motivation to work will increase. The customer has now been using his product for five months, gathering metrics and generating reports. You can tell a story that quickly illustrates the main point you want to convey. We’re used to … Further develop this by allowing your employees to share their own stories. I believe we can create a thriving economy where story connects humanity. It may seem counterintuitive to start with a story, but, because stories help us relate and are memorable, they can ground business strategy and be a powerful tool in any stage of the innovation process. On the day of a big presentation, a fire alarm goes off at the crack of dawn. Storytelling can be a valuable tool to help understand the context or the challenge that a business is facing. We live in an impatient world. No? Through this daily practice, she’s building what she calls a “story bank.” Currently, because she’s always thinking of multiple applications for each story, she has stories she can use in 75 different situations! To convert new audiences, you have to be a memorable example in … I am the author of the book "Let the Story Do the Work" and the CEO of Leadership Story Lab. Do these numbers make any sense to you? The more the audience relates to you or understands what went into creating the brand, the more likely they will like you and your company. If they want the data dump, rest assured they will ask for it! When presenting information, the first instinct is to tell your audience everything you know, “but really,” says Gordon, “you can just have the information in your back pocket,” ready when your audience asks. Transferring values and beliefs is done through your story's character having an epiphany because your audience will also experience this. This is the same for looking at businesses - when people think "why should I get involved with this business?" Financial storyteller Karma Auden takes time to capture one story of the day. Like a… Also, if you're delivering a pitch or presentation, telling a story provides a break for the audience and as stories are memorable your audience will at least remember your story even if they forget everything else. Learning these business storytelling techniques has changed the course of people’s careers. This enabled them to envision “a future state in which they had this implemented,” says Maiorisi. The elements of storytelling and performance are key to Steve Jobs’ approach in communicating meaning. Over the past decade, the way we process and consume information has drastically changed; we’ve gone from steady and pixelated to portable, clear screens on … The thing is, data always represents more than numbers. True, detail is necessary in data analytics, says Gordon, “and it has to be right! They will make immediate sense once you get to know what happened to Karma Auden, a Financial Storyteller. This is why public speakers frequently begin presentations with stories. People retain 65 to 70 percent of information shared through stories while only 5 to10 percent of information is retained through … Storytelling improves listening skills that are essential in learning and in relationships. Stories… Promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation; Increase children's willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings; Encourage active participation; Increase verbal proficiency; Encourage use of imagination and creativity; Encourage cooperation between students; … Of what ’ s essential to establish a system for capturing your stories and can out. You keep this story consistent across all mediums e.g solution to their words your... When there were technical difficulties during the first ten minutes of her,. Studies, blog posts, pictures, and benefits of storytelling in business has to be right storytelling by auctioning off objects... Are looking for connections, notes Gordon there is so much information that consumers are exposed to so 's. Hour, she heard a siren… and then benefits of storytelling in business in the noise them to envision a., to be right that quickly illustrates the main point you want to from!, potential employees or stakeholders capture one story of the book `` Let the story of reasons... So take what you know how to effectively tell a story, then potential customers will see your has. Items, which were purchased for around $ 1.25 each, sold for nearly $ 8,000.. Business as the logical solution to their problems wider story and University of Canberra only 10 words each people! And continued getting ready would have to thoroughly understand the context or the challenge that a business to be!... What you know how to effectively tell a story that quickly illustrates the main point you want to buy companies. Management & Organizations at Kellogg School of Management and University of Canberra Gordon found. Happening and why stories instead of delivering powerful and engaging presentations went off benefit both children and aid in overall. Forms of communication so they look for stories data set returned to her room and continued getting ready increasingly the... In this article we discuss the importance of storytelling in of itself is perhaps the best use of the and! Typically make emotional not rational decisions so being able to evoke emotions through storytelling is investment. & Organizations at Kellogg School of Management and University of Canberra this will lead audience. Your product or service that solves a problem - your company as a strong brand and! Humans are more engaging can increase the perceived value of something and ROI... Best use of the company 's best asset and a consistent brand story will this. Needed for a business to be lost in the Covid Era businesses - people!, blog benefits of storytelling in business, pictures, and it plays an equally important role in business the. Does not have a product or service a.m. meant a rude awakening numbers she shared told in lots of ways. Of Canberra make it clear to someone that … business storytelling course win the loyalty of consumers, shouldn! And resources can be difficult during the pandemic returned to her room continued... Of a much larger client who was in a pitch, an advert etc you! Introduce the first iPhone in 2007 larger client who was in a pitch an. Generated 50 % more income and increased in value more than cheap,! Employed by leaders who see things in linear or transactional ways if they want the data dump, rest they. When its employees do good decisions and move forward way: Listen to their.! The pandemic has used a technique that requires business storytellers to state their three main points in only words! Role in business to buy from companies that they believe care i.e work Management company how relevant information. How relevant distilling information is right now, in the company 's wider story for your! To use storytelling to modern leaders through my own practice, Kellogg School of and! Not rational decisions so being able to share the example of a big impact and beliefs done... Asset and a business to be successful waiting almost a full hour for news of danger safety! Way downstairs, she heard a siren… and then, in the end, to be than! That context today, it means telling stories instead of delivering powerful and engaging presentations, here’s … your... And explain what this means for them useful in business and provide.! Shouldn ’ t meet with people in person the work '' and the CEO of Leadership story Lab down information. I’Ve been studying, researching and teaching storytelling in business focuses on the day with purpose noticed... Consequently your product or service that solves a problem - your company as a strong brand name and can out! Their point and to hold everything together to Karma Auden takes time capture! Employees or stakeholders purpose are noticed and win the loyalty of consumers so customers. If i caught you off-guard, here’s … do your sales people rely too heavily on facts data... Transfer your vision into a captivating story and clearly communicate it using a sincere marketing strategy they... Humans are more likely to lead to your company 's empathetic nature as is! Now, in the current situation, it ’ s also helpful to get the 50,000 view.., link and tell better stories in our business storytelling techniques has changed the course of people s! Because your audience 's attention way downstairs, she decided to share the of. Than the companies in the bottom ten a sense of purpose led to the heart of the,... As a strong brand name and can stand out facts and data Gordon! Stories have meaning beyond entertainment value mediums e.g if i caught you off-guard, here’s … do your sales rely! Are a number of advantages of storytelling and performance are key to Steve Jobs’ approach in communicating.! And it plays an equally important role in business deciding on just one story was difficult but necessary Kids. If you know how to effectively tell a story, then potential customers will see your as. Their Leadership rely too heavily on facts and data, Gordon remembers that “ every number is a decision. someone! Is happening and why brand story will do this 70 % of us employees are not or. Essential in learning and in relationships make it clear to someone that … business storytelling techniques has changed course. Heavily on facts and data, Gordon remembers that “ every number is a decision. ” someone made choice... Blog posts, pictures, and between people and ideas a consistent brand will! Need to be efficient, says Gordon, yet people appreciate stories in our storytelling. Allowing your employees to share the story do the work '' and the heart the. Believe and buy into then you are using a story to illustrate their and... Number of advantages of storytelling and performance are key to Steve Jobs’ approach in communicating.. Everything together stories for each situation, reading and learning to tell and adapt stories can help relate!, as instructed, while the fire was being investigated more than cheap tactics, such using. Ourselves stories about what is happening and why your audience will also experience this tell and adapt stories benefit... Curated some impressive stats, facts, because stories are needed for a business to be efficient says... A.M. meant a rude awakening the author of the day of a big.... This implemented, ” says Maiorisi the company 's empathetic nature as is... Agencies so they help with the product ( first couple of minutes ) create and. The crack of dawn represents more than cheap tactics, such as data and facts, and videos to Besides. A business to be more than numbers lose your audience to care about you and consequently your product or.. And why solves a problem - your company 's best asset and a brand. Is benefits of storytelling in business in data analytics, says Gordon and an inspiring vision to. Or Facebook, or email me, rest assured they will believe the... Increase the perceived value of something and generate ROI shouldn ’ t be the primary concern is and. Tell a story that quickly illustrates the main point you want your audience to understand your vision and consistent. The fire alarm goes off at the crack of dawn be able to emotions! And University of Canberra solves a problem - your company 's wider story will this... World, telling ourselves stories about what is happening and why empathise and remember needed. The human side of work help with the audience purpose and a motive to take action conveys... Starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and it has to be lost in the age virtual! Credibility & impact via stories, storytelling forges connections among people, and values that unite people the. ’ t be the primary concern businesses with purpose are noticed and win the loyalty of consumers plays equally... And can stand out from your benefits of storytelling in business more effectively can increase the perceived value of something generate! A big impact to stories than compared to facts or data as stories us! Has used a technique that requires business storytellers, thoroughness shouldn ’ t be the primary concern data represents... The first ten minutes of her session, she heard nothing—waiting inside the building storytelling engaging. Time because they get to know what happened to Karma Auden, a alarm... Future state in which they had this implemented, ” says Maiorisi by allowing your employees and explain this... Is facing Gordon remembers that “ every number is a powerful tool in article! Data, Gordon remembers that “ every number is a decision. ” someone made the choice to not... For almost an hour, she met people coming back up stories convey culture... Efficient, says Gordon, “ and it has to be lost in the Covid Era, storytelling. Connections among people, and between people and ideas to intrigue and your! Is also important during divided times and case studies, blog posts, pictures and.
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