According to marketing professor Jennifer Aaker at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone. if you have a message that you want people to remember, wrap it in a story.
Bonus list of business storytelling ideas
- A conversation that changed my life.
- How I got to be where I am/who I am now.
- How our company was founded.
- What we stand for as a team or company (and what we won’t stand for, either).
- The best/worst team I’ve been a part of.
- The biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself (perhaps the hard way).
- Where I’ve struggled, or a challenge I overcame.
- How I came to understand my core values.
- A time when I lost confidence in myself.
- Who we are here to serve — and why.
- How the competition is nipping at our heels.
- What I learned from a jerk in my life — and what I have to thank him/her for.
- A skeptical customer we won over.
- A team that wrestled, then succeeded.
- A hard but necessary change I/we made.
- Our very best work, and how we made that happen.
- Our biggest misstep and how we recovered.
- What I’m/we’re proudest of.
- Who I can always count on, and why.
- Something that never should have worked–but did.
Using Story in our Business Communications –
Research Links –
https://www.welltold.ie/ – Sally Murphy, an expert in using story in business communications
– Hi and thanks for joining me for the first of our monthly V-logs. So using story as part of our business communications is an area that I’m very interested in with my background in documentary and making videos for years and years. Also, I’ve done a lot of research on this and now I’m trying to put it into practice in my own business. You might see this on the about us page on our new website.
I’ve cited all the articles in the blog post and a particular shout out to Sally Murphy from Welltold and Murphy Communications. I attended one of her seminars. She really understands using story for your business communications.
As Irish people, we love a good story. We take pride in being a nation of storytellers. We love going to the pub and hearing the phrase, did you hear about? People all over the world love a good story. We remember stories and pass them on to others. This is important for our business communications. According to marketing professor Jennifer Aaker at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone. if you have a message that you want people to remember, wrap it in a story.
The Science behind the facts from a Harvard Business Review article. A study found that character-driven stories do consistently cause oxytocin synthesis. Oxytocin is a key, it’s safe to approach others, signal in the brain. It is produced when we are trusted or shown a kindness and it motivates cooperation with others. It does this by enhancing our sense of empathy. Business storytelling can evoke feelings within your audience.
Emotions always drive actions more than logic. This is borne out in one of Simon Sinek’s videos, where he talks about the older part of our brain, as distinct from the newer, analytical part. In this part of the brain, we get our feelings of trust and loyalty. This part of our brain is also responsible for our decision making and behavior. Our decisions are based on how we feel. An example is when you interact with a good sales person. You have an instant good feeling about them. You are thinking less with the analytical part of your brain about pricing et cetera, you enjoy the sales process and are usually happy with the purchase. Here you made your decision based on how you felt. Business storytelling tells a story that impacts people, simplifies business information and provokes a human response and remember, your business storytelling narrative is yours and unique.
Here are some examples of storytelling in business. More later, and I have a longer list on this blog post. Origin, founder story, this naturally fits on your about us page, one of the most viewed website pages. Why, the reason you do what you do. Aha moments, maybe the moment where the idea for your business came into being. Bad experience, a challenge or triumph that you have overcome. Customer experience story, testimonials from clients, what did they need and how did you help them? Finally, the mission and vision for your business, what are your goals, where are you going?
These are the four C’s of storytelling. One, character, put people at the center of your story. Two, conflict, for example, if you can develop tension, as in a challenge or triumph story, people are more likely to share the emotions of the characters in the story. Remember as a kid, how you felt after watching an action movie? Three, context, does it make sense? Four, conclusion, why are you telling the story, what message are you trying to get across to your audience? When communicating with your audience, always think about how does your message help or inform, and how will people feel when it is complete?
Here’s a brief how to, understand your audience. Who are they, what are they interested in and how can you help them? Prepare the core message, the message you want to impart to your audience. Decide the story type, not all stories are the same. Each story can stir a different emotion. Some stories can evoke a sense of assurance, while others some evoke a sense of warmth. For customer stories, frame your customer as the the hero of the story, other possible customers will slot themselves into our hero’s character. Paint a picture, give a time and a place, this helps the story to come to life in the minds of your audience. Avoid describing every intricate detail. Make the reader or viewer focus on the solution or action. Be authentic, be yourself, don’t try to act like another person or embellish your stories, as this will show. Don’t forget to finish with a call to action. What do you want the person to do after hearing your story? Contact you, view your website et cetera.
Over the years I have developed a love of storytelling and enjoy helping businesses share these stories. Please subscribe and sign up for more content on helping businesses to communicate their message online, thanks.