How Storytelling Can Grow Your Business
People love stories. We love to hear about other people, and stories help us to learn, remember and put to use new concepts. Aesop knew this. His fables help us to learn life lessons through tales about others, without having to learn them the hard way.
In modern times, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen also understand the power of stories to teach, motivate, and inspire. Their "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books continue to sell in the millions of copies because they tap into our primal need to connect with others through storytelling.
What can stories do for you and your business? Stories can educate customers about a need they have and how you fill it, subtly demonstrate your expertise, create empathy, suggest new uses for your products, train new customers and employees, and motivate listeners to take action.
I recently observed several group presentations by an insurance agent. He knew many of the people in the audience, and prior to each presentation he would look for someone who had made a claim under their policy and ask them to tell the audience how the benefits had helped them through a difficult time. If there was no one in the audience to do it, he would tell about someone who had used the policy and what it had done for them. The stories the agent told were effective, but hearing the claimants themselves was incredibly powerful. Hearing someone talk about the uncertainty of illness, the expenses they faced which were not covered by other insurance, and what the benefits meant to them was moving. I'm sure he sold lots of policies!
Where will you get stories? Stories from your own experience can be effective, and they are unique. You may also get stories from customers, employees, friends and others. The media can be a source of stories. Stories that are familiar because they have been told through the media can establish a commonality between you and your audience, or among members of your audience. Stories unique to your experience provide a personal touch, and can be surprising because they are not known to the audience.
Another possibility is creating composite or fictional stories. This may not be acceptable in some circumstances. For example, several newspaper columnists have been fired for making up stories, or creating composite characters, and passing them off as absolute truth. However, if your primary purpose is to educate or entertain, and you are not presenting them as news, you may take some liberties with minor details of your stories or take bits and pieces from multiple stories and combine them into one composite. Remember that it is important to maintain credibility, so don't do anything that would deceive your audience.
Once you have your stories, where will you use them? Tell them when you are in one-on-one meetings, in group presentations, and when making speeches. Write them down and include them in articles, brochures, sales letters, on your web site and in other written communications. Record them on audio or video and use them in commercials. Use them when training new employees to teach them about your company and its culture. Publish them in your client or company newsletter to reinforce emotional ties.
Stories are a powerful tool which teach and motivate by making an emotional connection with your audience. Use them wisely and well.
Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas. Get free tips, articles and more at IdeaLady.com/.
Beetle Bailey and Presentation Skills
In March 2002, the comic strip Beetle Bailey contained a valuable lesson for business presenters. As General Halftrack walked into his office, his secretary asked: "How was Lt.
35 Surefire Ways to Kill a Meeting
1. Play "find the meeting" by changing the location and time of your meeting at the last minute.
Seven Tips for Coping with Pre-Stage Jitters
Whether you need to address large groups or small, familiar faces or new, you may feel that the stress of speaking is always with you. If so, these seven tips will help you work through tension and communicate with confidence.
Group Meetings: Being Prepared Makes a Difference
MANAGING MEETINGS--BEING PREPARED MAKES A DIFFERENCE: You can schedule all the meetings you want to, and if you are not prepared to take charge then you're wasting your time. The time you invest planning a meeting is time well spent.
Wow! Is That ME? - Creating a Powerful One-Page Bio
First of all, what is a bio sheet and why do you need one? A bio sheet is a one page description of who you are--your background and achievements. Your bio is an important part of how you present yourself to potential clients.
Watch Out For Power Thieves
"I'm not an expert on this topic, but . .
A Discussion about Facilitation Skills
Interview with Julia Apple-Smith, Manager of Employee Development at Sauer-Danfoss Ames, Iowa about Facilitation Skills:Q: Would you tell me a little bit about the culture at Sauer-Danfoss?Julia: About nine years ago, Dave Pfeifle, President and CEO had a vision for us to change our culture. We, at one time, were part of the Sundstrand Corporation, and as such, over time, had evolved into a company that was fairly autocratic and not very customer focused.
Ancient PowerPoint Secrets: Ask Your Grandma!
Yes, there are ancient PowerPoint secrets..
Story Telling As a Business Tool
Long long ago, it was the time when time itself stood still That was the time this story of story telling began When everyone listened to the story and people learned And that was the time people were also very happy Because they were listening to a story.Stories have been the purveyor of knowledge from time immemorial.
Writing The Query Letter
The query letter is simply a business letter that serves a dual purpose. It is an introduction of you to an agent, and an inquiry as to whether the agent would be interested in seeing a particular piece of your work.
The Upside to an Auditory Rehearsal
Many experienced trainers feel that there is something lacking in their rehearsals, even after mentally reviewing their notes and presentation aids. They'll know their style and method of delivery.
Presentation Skills: Be More Productive Using a Facilitator Mode
There are many definitions for presentations. When you present there are also many different modes you can focus on.
Kvetching Behavior and How it Hinders Success
Kvetching is the Yiddish word for complaining, hand to the forehead, why is this happening to me, complaining, griping, and mental misery. In marketing it's always time for us to take a serious look at how our attitude affects our business.
Qualities of Good Communication
Webster's Dictionary defines communication as "a giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc." The primary goal of communication in a training setting is to transfer information to participants in such a way that a maximum amount of the message is understood and retained.
Tips for Thinking on Your Feet
If you really aware and alert, your audience's behavior - faces, bodies, and their hands, will literally transmit scores of "messages." It is possible to judge how well you're being received, how much attention your audience is paying to you, and often how close your objective is to accomplishment.
How to Chair a Meeting
You don't have to be on a stage to be a public speaker. Your platform may be a meeting room.
Keeping Meetings Productive
KEEPING MEETINGS PRODUCTIVE: Whether participants approve or disapprove of an idea, they shouldn't be penalized or given a raise. If you start criticizing people who disapprove, then you're only making your meetings less productive.
How to Convert PowerPoint to Flash Manually
Converting PowerPoint to Flash would be absolutely a good choice to distribute your bulky PowerPoint Presentation. You can do the whole PowerPoint-to-Flash conversion manually or by related softwares.
Present Statistics In Context
"I didn't have 3000 pairs of shoes. I had only 1600 pairs.
How To Make Your Best Ever Presentation
The most important tip..
|home | site map|