Leverage the Power of Business Storytelling– Narratives: Ultimate Weapon to Engage Mind & Heart, Change Thinking…

Business storytelling changes the way people think, act, feel… Business stories form the foundations of an entire workplace culture, and they have power to break down barriers and turn bad situations into a thriving workplace environment.

Business stories capture imaginations, illustrate ideas, arouse passions and inspires in a way that cold, hard facts often cannot… Stories are a very powerful business tool, so if you want to motivate others effectively, you need to learn how to tell a good story…

Business stories are most often used when leadership is trying to; inspire the organization, set a vision, teach important lessons, define culture and values, describe who they are, explain a belief system… Also, sales and marketing people often use (or should use) stories when they are engaging customers, partners… Although storytelling isn’t always the right tool to help ‘manage’ people; it’s an exceptional tool to help ‘lead’ people…

story th6RWZAAPF

Leaders (or in fact, anyone) can tell business or life experience stories to communicate and connect with employees, customers, colleagues, partners, suppliers, media… When you tell a story, well; it creates an intense, personal connection between the message and the audience… good stories told effectively can change opinions, they can inspire to achieve goals that you may not think possible… Business storytelling is one of the most powerful tools of ‘influence’ that a business leader (or any person) has at his or her disposal… and it’s used not only in public speaking but in all areas of a business, such as; in boardrooms, conferences…

It’s the X-factor in business communication… The art of being able to tell stories, effectively, in a range of business contexts is critically important… one well placed story can touch and influence many people in profound ways and change the dynamics of a situation…

What is Storytelling? At its core, storytelling is the art of using language, vocalization, visualization, and physical movement, gesture to reveal the elements and images of a compelling event  to a targeted audience… A unique aspect of business storytelling is its reliance on the audience to develop specific visual imagery and detail to complete and co-create the story… Most dictionaries define a story as a narrative account of an event, real or imaginary…

Within the storytelling community, a story is more generally agreed to be a specific structure of narrative with a definitive style and set of characters, which includes a sense of completeness. Through the sharing of business experience you use stories to pass on accumulated wisdom, beliefs, values… Through stories you explain– how things are, why they are, roles, purpose… Business storytelling is building blocks of knowledge and the foundation of memory and learning.

story1 images

Stories connect people with their humanity and link the past, present, and future by teaching the audience to anticipate the possible consequences of their actions… Facts, data, statistics, quotes are essential parts of a business but their specific significance depends on the framework in which they are placed… You can spout-off graph after graph and statistic after statistic but if you fail to provide a relevant context for the information, then all of the  data has little value– data has meaning only when you ascribe significant to it (i.e., it’s ‘why’ or ‘what’ that’s important). Business stories connect a presentation’s stats to the audience through a storyline’s– nuances, lessons learned, benefits, risks, rewards… which enhances the relevancy of the message in the communication…

The beauty of storytelling in business lies in the ability to connect with others. Don’t underestimate the power of this modest device; it can compel the audience to trust you, it can encourage the audience to relate to you, and it can move the audience to take action. Even a boardroom full of serious, successful business executives would rather listen to statistics and facts in the context of a fascinating story rather than listen to a colorless list of cumbersome facts… don’t make the audience think: Tie the prosaic facts into an engaging story to hammer home the main idea. Show audience why they should care; don’t leave them hunting for reasons…

Stories are how people learn best. People absorb numbers and facts and details, but they keep them all glued into their heads with stories… Stories let you convey wisdom, and/or explain information in an entertaining way… Leveraging the unparalleled, far-reaching power of storytelling is– the new doctrine in business… stories work in an unseen way to transform the way people absorb and process information…

It’s ironic that in the decade where you have access to more data than is humanly comprehensible, the vehicle that garners the most trust, confidence and belief is not a data point but a story. Although the Internet has created an explosion of storytelling and content-sharing channels, the first priority is not about the channel, it’s about the story… Stories connect, transform, engage people… stories are an important mechanism for creating an atmosphere for teaching, leading… Business storytelling is a powerful enabler to cut through the clutter and engage the audience…

story images6MNIQ2ST

Business storytelling is a pull, not push, strategy; it’s about engagement-interaction… the audience is just as active participant as the storyteller… Business storytelling is a selfless, empowering act– great business storytelling points people toward a desired conclusion but gives freedom to draw that own conclusion… Business storytelling draws from both magic and logic; truly great business storytelling touches people’s ‘hearts’, as well as their ‘minds’… get people to both– ‘feel’ and ‘think’…

Business storytelling looks to the future, respects the past, and appreciates the present but it also looks boldly into the future, moving people past– ‘what is’ to ‘what if’… Done well, storytelling helps people collectively imagine a vision of the future that is achievable and worth achieving, helping them to understand not only what they are working-on, but also what they are working-toward…

The overall goal is not to become the best business storyteller in the world but to grow the business; hence, develop a storyline that helps people connect the dots between– ‘problem’ and ‘solution’, or ‘event’ and ‘outcome’