Five Ways to Use Business Storytelling


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Used well, business stories mean the difference between "No thank you" and "Let's put the program together." Many training professionals unintentionally hide their key messages and success stories. Compelling training messages and inspiring business stories do not just tell us what we should know, they tell us what we should do, and why we should do it. They transform ideas into action. And action means budget and program approval.

Discover and rediscover your stories-your buried treasure. Leave with an easy-to-follow story development process. Then develop situation-specific business stories to inspire people about your training programs. Learn how to tell the best stories about you and your training organization. Be a deliberate storyteller and accelerate your training success!!

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Five Ways to Use Business Storytelling

  1. 8. First … Favorite … Best … Worst … Dream …
  2. 12. Elevator Speech Presentation-Sales Networking Conversations Cold calls email Training Telemarketing Blog Articles Advertising Direct mail Press release Public relations Sales tools Investor pitch Speaker Biography Website Word of mouth Success stories Proposals Capability Statement Budget request Reports Tweet (Twitter ) Manuals Customer Service Scripts LinkedIn profile Seminars Conferences White papers Newsletter YouTube Ecademy profile Podcasts Brochures Testimonials FAQs Wiki
  3. 13. Follow a process Know your audience Tell your great stories Select the right story type Choose from your story inventory
  4. 15. Your Elevator Speech Imagine you are in Sally's office. She is the brand new vice president of sales. You exchange pleasantries. Then she asks, "What do you do?" * Write down, word-for-word, what you would say.
  5. 16. <ul><li>“ I am a [title]” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I work for department/person” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I work in [blank] department” </li></ul>
  6. 17. Speak in Benefits/Speak to “Them” <ul><li>B: I’m a risk consultant </li></ul><ul><li>A: “I make a difference in patient’s lives every day” </li></ul><ul><li>B: I work for the American Diabetes Association® </li></ul><ul><li>A: “We are champions of healthy living” [©ADA] </li></ul><ul><li>B: I’m a commercial real estate broker </li></ul><ul><li>A: “We create workplace happiness.” [© Transwestern] </li></ul>
  7. 19. Follow a process Know your audience Tell your great stories Select the right story type Choose from your story inventory
  8. 20. The Chief Storyteller 18 <ul><li>Business </li></ul><ul><li>Business history </li></ul><ul><li>Colleagues in common </li></ul><ul><li>Career aspirations </li></ul><ul><li>“ Office competitors” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Office best friends” </li></ul><ul><li>Key clients </li></ul><ul><li>Professional memberships </li></ul><ul><li>Topics to Avoid </li></ul><ul><li>Preferred comm. method </li></ul><ul><li>Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite vacation spots </li></ul><ul><li>Family members </li></ul><ul><li>Political affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite foods & restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>Friends in common </li></ul><ul><li>Educational background </li></ul><ul><li>Special causes </li></ul><ul><li>Hobbies and movies </li></ul><ul><li>Special dates </li></ul>
  9. 21. Follow a process Know your audience Tell your great stories Select the right story type Choose from your story inventory
  10. 22. Select the Right Story Type <ul><li>Engage & Act </li></ul>Prove & Persuade Same Boat, Rowing Together Stronger Relationship Better This, Better That Words from the Wise
  11. 23. <ul><li>Engage & Act </li></ul><ul><li>Inspires your audience to respond. It serves as a catalyst for listeners to make contact with you by phone and email, by signing up or by making a purchase. These stories have the greatest impact when used as an icebreaker with your target audiences. Your compelling call to action will trigger responses of “Tell me more” and “I need that.” </li></ul><ul><li>Prove & Persuade </li></ul><ul><li>Uses facts to speak on your behalf. Bring your story to life with elements of proof—testimonials, statistics and success stories—to “sell” yourself and product. Generally, you share this story type when the audience is interested and not yet convinced. Develop these stories by culling academic research, your corporate history, and your relationships with long-time corporate partners. </li></ul>
  12. 24. <ul><li>Same Boat, Rowing Together </li></ul><ul><li>Builds a sense of community. It moves your audience to transcend competing agendas and to come together for a common cause—“we all win when we row together.” Use personal anecdotes and recurring themes easily identifiable to your target audiences. Such themes include “You’re just like me” and “We’re experiencing the same things, let us tackle our problems and issues together.” </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger Relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Connects you to your audience. Use personal stories to let them get to know and trust the “real” you. Portray the knowledge you have gained, lessons learned, and insights discovered. Choose the level of intimacy to share with the audience—from light-hearted to tear-inducing. </li></ul>
  13. 25. <ul><li>Better This, Better That </li></ul><ul><li>Paints a picture of the future. Show how your organization, concept, product, service, process, idea, etc. positively impacts “tomorrow.” Ground your story in reality by first describing present-day struggles and frustrations then build to the potential successes realized in your vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Words from the Wise </li></ul><ul><li>Embraces concepts proven by experts. Provides a third-party lens through which to comprehend view new trends as well as traditional skills, knowledge, and abilities. Share lessons learned and insights gained from the credible experts. These lessons and insights empower others to learn from and act upon. </li></ul>
  14. 26. Follow a process Know your audience Tell your great stories Select the right story type Choose from your story inventory
  15. 27. Story Inventory
  16. 28. <ul><li>Engage & Act: Inspires your audience to respond </li></ul><ul><li>Prove & Persuade: Uses facts to speak on your behalf </li></ul><ul><li>Same Boat, Rowing Together: Builds a sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger Relationship: Connects you to your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Better This, Better That: Paints a picture of the future </li></ul><ul><li>Words from the Wise: Embraces concepts proven by experts </li></ul>
  17. 29. Follow a process Know your audience Tell your great stories Select the right story type Choose from your story inventory
  18. 31. Your Guess?
  19. 33. Write to the 10 th Grade Level <ul><li>Plutoids are celestial bodies in orbit around the sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical) shape, and that have not cleared the neighborhood around their orbit. </li></ul>— International Astronomical Union Definition of a Plutoid, 6/2008
  20. 35. Is this the story you want to be known for?
  21. 36. The Case of the Missing Cards…
  22. 37. Dan and His Cereals
  23. 38. <ul><li>Challenge Solution Results </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Action Results </li></ul><ul><li>Situation Action Results </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge Action Result </li></ul><ul><li>Situation Impact Analysis </li></ul>
  24. 39. Snapshot By Year Snapshot By Year Consistent Return on Training See Appendix Page 32 for financial details Original After 1 After 2
  25. 41. Think Differently and Deliberately Benefits Facts Literature Dynamic Haphazard Business Storytelling “ Wow! Tell me more” Blah blah blah Headline Speak Slash 10 – 20% Data, Figures Content It’s all about them Me-focused Proposal Generates action Information Website Active Reactive Customer service You, Your We, Us, Our, I Perspective Aware Unaware Body Language “ Yes”Ander “ But”Head Words Tomorrow Yesterday Topic Area
  26. 42. Suggestions for Workshops Homework Homework Know your audience Reduce 30 – 40% Reduce 40 – 50% Content (int’l) Reduce 10 – 20% Reduce 20 – 30% Content 2 – 3 (longer) 3 – 5 (short) Interactions (1 hr) Pique interest Must pique interest Opening Normal Faster (10 – 15%) Pace Important Very important Graphics Longer (15%ish) Shorter Stories Live Web Topic Area
  27. 43. <ul><li>D evelop main message—elevator speech </li></ul><ul><li>W rite at or below 10 th grade </li></ul><ul><li>U se powerful and varied imagery </li></ul><ul><li>D evelop a rich story inventory </li></ul><ul><li>S ynchronize your stories and messages </li></ul><ul><li>S hare your passion </li></ul>Turn Your Stories into Stories that Sell
  28. 44. <ul><li>People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel. </li></ul>— Maya Angelou American Poet
  29. 45. Free Archive of Original Web Seminar <ul><li> </li></ul>