I think that every story, even a business story, is a love story. Behind every great brand, or business or leader is a love story that creates an emotional connection and a larger purpose. Daniel Pink, author, "A Whole New Mind," says storytelling is the most essential skill to excel in the 21st century because we are moving from a technical to a conceptual way of thinking. However, ninety percent of business leaders are bored with conversations and nine out of 10 executives say they don't know how to tell a story..What do people really want when from their business conversations? Peter Drucker, business thinker, says people want “a juicy love story.” Stories connect the inside of a business to the outside world by giving people a drama to remember and repeat. These are the love stories employees tell each other, their partners, and their customers and are the stories that become the culture and brand of the business.
Romeo and Juliet Storytelling formula gives us a framework on how to create and tell stories.One of my executive clients I am coaching told me he’s having a hard time reconnecting and engaging with clients he already has to generate more business. His problem is he’s not sure how to tell a good “Who am I story” He’s not sure how to talk about himself without sounding like he is bragging or even what interesting parts of him to include in the his who am I story. So I interviewed him about his values and customer stories and personal things about him. Some of the to his questions had so much energy, they jumped out at me and other things he talked about seemed tired, the same data or parts of stories he’s told for too long. Together we wrote a story portfolio or 3 different who am I using only the responses that had so much energy and life. He practiced the stories in his office, in his mirror, in the car on the way home from work. Three weeks later, we got back together for a session and we we leaned into his natural storytelling gifts which are calmness, steadiness, trustworthiness, loyalty and then we worked on incorporating some nonverbal elements that he wasn’t as comfortable with doing. Last week he presented to a group of 300 people at the Direct Marketing Conference in Las Vegas and he said he received excellent feedback on his pres.Scripted presentation for service renewals. At the same point in every presentation, she felt the energy drain from presentation and the client and even herself was bored with the what was being said. So we worked together in the areas where she felt the energy drain and we built stories with the data she was required to present. Since she started using stories in her presentations, three clients upgraded their service renewals.
Romeo and Juliet resonate as the best love story of all time because of unpredictable vulnerability, which is the heart of every great story. Romeo and Juliet storytelling model teaches business leaders how to think in love stories and how to create and tell their own business love stories.What does it mean to “think in love stories?” I think it means finding the pulpy, vulnerable heart or truth of the story. The story truth is what creates the emotional connection and ignites a greater purpose. For example, the hearty pulp of Apple’s creation story -- Jobs and Wozniak toiling in a garage -- inspires a love connection and champions Apple, not only as a business with products, but as something with a robust heartbeat. Jim Signorelli says, “Stories clothe truths.” Romeo and Juliet’s storytelling vine makes it easy to find the truth and heart of the business story.
Creation Stories – “Who am I” and “Who are We Stories.”Value Stories – “How we work” and “What we believe.”Vision Stories – “Where are we going?”
Most people tell story snap shots – a glimpse or glimmer of a story. Even Jobs and Wozniak toiling in the garage, is a story glimmer. The way to move business conversations to something lusty is to tell more than a story glimmer. A true business love story is a complete drama. I like to visualize a complete, vivid story using the six elements of the Romeo and Juliet storytelling model.
Story Truth: The emotional connection and larger purpose of the story. Romeo and Juliet story truth is true love overcomes time, space, and hatred.Story Vine: The sequence of events tension builds as you tell the story. The tension builds as Romeo climbs the vine to get to Juliet on her balcony.Story Setup: The current realities of the story. The family feud of Montague and Capulet families is the setup to Romeo and Juliet falling in forbidden love.Hero/Villain – The hero is you, your services or products. The villain is the person or thing you fight against. Romeo and Juliet are the heroes. The villain is the family feud that prevents them from being together.Struggle – The climax of your story. The unpredictable struggle is Romeo and Juliet killing themselves for love.Story Finale – The finale ignites to action around a new reality. The finale inspired Montague and Capulet families to join hands and end the family feud after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Lastly, how do you tell your business love story? I think telling the business love story involves staging the business love story in three connecting love “acts.” These acts connect the storyteller to the story listener.
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Storytelling for Business
Loneliness and Love Stories:The Business Case for Telling Personal Stories
Great leaders tell personal stories Session Deliverables“2012 is the year of thestory… 3M is one that is Discover why business leaders are looking for a new story.using storytelling best…” Fast Company Find out how companies like Pfizer, American Girl Doll, and Tiffany & Co. are using stories to drive revenue. Learn the three types of stories and how to create a business story using a story format.
Big Edand the Body Brace Storytelling comes natural to all of us – we all have our gifts and style. Stories activate the mind in ways that make listeners fell like they are having a visual, tactile and kinetic experience What makes one stand on its two feet, sway its hips, and move the conversation forward in the manner that the storyteller desires?
How stories are used in 3M“We want to inspirecustomers by sharing our Strategy: Stories are used in the annual 3M strategic planning process to simplify complexity.story of what we’re doing,where we are going, and Branding: Stories engage and attract outsiders bydreaming with them.” becoming the stories 3M customers tell. -- Mauro Porcini Former 3M CDO Content: Stories are used in 3M communication vehicles. Metrics: Stories increase accountability and are research data to measure 3M values, performance, experiences, and beliefs. Vision: Stories drive 3Ms future. Leaders: Stories connect and inspire 3M leaders to increase revenue.
Why business leadersare looking for a new story Moving to a conceptual age. Creativity increases ROI. Increase in loneliness. Desire for stewardship, intimacy, and meaning to make the world a better place.
How Pfizer usedstories to increase sales Pfizer collected stories with 94 sales representatives in 11 cities, across six countries, which resulted in over 200 stories. The stories were indexed to create a clear picture of which stories were getting the best sales results. Leaders and sales representatives across the organization were then taught strategic storytelling skills and equipped with the best stories to increase revenue.
Two More –Stories Increase ROI American Girl – personal stories behind the dolls. Tiffany & Co. – “What makes True Love” organic personal story campaign.
Romeo andJuliet story formula We all have our own storytelling gifts and style. Improve your business conversations by: Thinking in compelling stories. Creating a compelling story. Telling a compelling story. “What people really want from their business conversations is a juicy love story.” Peter Drucker
Think in love stories: First find the story truth Analysis: The heart of every great story is vulnerability. Why Romeo and Juliet resonates as the greatest love story of all time. Story Truth: What is the meaning or truth of the story? This is what creates the emotional connection and ignites a greater purpose.
Start with a story glimmer “Jobs and Wozniak toiling in garage” A snap shot or a glimpse Incomplete story, just the start of a good story Most people have and use story glimmer’s everyday
Create yourbusiness love story Tension builds as you climb the story vine. Story Truth: Emotional connection of the story. Story Vine: Sequence of events tension builds as you tell the story. Story Setup: Current realities/who, what, where of the story. Hero/Villain: Hero is you, your services or products. Villain is the person or thing you fight against. Struggle: Climax of your story. Story Finale: Ending ignites to action around a new reality.
Tell your storyin three easy love acts Invite: Propose Story. Think of this act as an offering and a gift to the listener. Unite: Bond Together. This act is what you say and do so the listener bonds to you and the story truth. Ignite: Marry in Action. This act is how the listener is compelled by the story to act in a new and different way.
Some words forInviting, Uniting and Igniting Invite – Offer “Let me tell you a story.” “Last week…” “That reminds me…” “Did I ever tell you about…” Unite – Bond A repeated phrase that unites you with the Guy. “Romeo! Romeo! Where for art thou?” Ignite – Act Use words that include what we can see, taste, touch, hear, and smell. These types of words compel listener to action.
Story checklist for improving conversations Pick the type of Start with a Story Think in Love story to tell. Glimmer. Stories and find the Story Truth. Create using Tell the Love Story the Romeo in 3 Love Acts. and Juliet Story Vine.
The heart of everygreat story is vulnerability Use Romeo and Juliet story formula to: Think in stories to improve your conversations. Create your own stories. Tell your stories to invite, unite, and ignite your clients, customers, coworkers to create a new reality. Thank you, Michelle