In the preceding parts of this short course, we took a critical look at what storytelling is all about and its importance to modern communication. In this concluding part, we would look at practical tips for effective storytelling.
According to a report on New York Times, before there was history, there was storytelling and the stories we tell provide us with the opportunity to know ourselves. The report also supports the notion that sharing a story with an audience is immensely rewarding for both business and personal brands. This is consistent with everything we have learnt so far in this short course.
In storytelling, you must bear in mind that what you say is as important as what you don’t say. The reality is that by saying one thing, you are not saying something else, so you must choose your words carefully to ensure that you are clearly communicating your message. To provide a better perspective, below are five (5) tips for effective storytelling:
- Discover your story
It is easy to neglect your story and vie off in search of something mysterious. In discovering your story, you need to look at the day-to-day events that you might be taking for granted. Most times, all you need to do is simply put those seemingly useless bits of information together into a story.
Your story is not far-fetched, it is simply the detailing of your business experience – the thoughts, the conversations, the actions and the results from your operations. Don’t look down on these details, it is your message. It might not resonate with everyone, but the right people would find it fascinating and connect with you.
Draw on the real-life examples from your operations so far to build a compelling story capable of driving your business goals. It is your story own it and be proud to share it.
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- Be clear about your core values
Core values define what is important to you and your business. These values are the things that separate you from the pile. In your storytelling efforts, it is important for you to clearly highlight these values.
Don’t leave people in the dark as to what your core values are. As much as possible, create stories around your values. Work out how you are the best ahead of your competition and tell stories about that.
- Understand your target audience
Everyone is not your audience and not everyone would find your story interesting. Don’t waste time trying to adapt your story to an audience that has no business with what you or your business is offering. Understand who your target audience is and focus on telling them your story; these are the people that would engage with your story and take relevant actions.
For your story to appeal to your target audience, it must be addressing a need for them. If you have attempted to communicate your story before now or are active on social media, pay attention to the feedback from the people that have engaged with you to tell your story better.
- Use appropriate language
Don’t just use words, ensure you are using the right words. The right words, in this case, are not just industry jargons, but the words your audience use for their day-to-day communication. The reason you should use these words is for visibility. When your audience go online to search, they are searching with their own choice of words; to be found, you need to use their words.
Whatever format you decide to use for your storytelling, make it easily digestible, accessible and shareable. Your storytelling should not be hidden. You can use your story as a hook to get people interested in your products or services, not the other way around.
- Make your conclusion epic
Like every good story, yours should have an epic ending. Your conclusion can mar your entire story. In writing your conclusion, your focus should be on giving people a reason to want more. Your conclusion should be emotional enough to lead people to your landing page or whatever you want them to do next.
Give them an active role in the story. If you have told them why you started your business, you can end with telling them to buy your product to satisfy their need. But never end without a call-to-action or next steps.
Give your audience something to do, it could be in form of asking for feedback, comment on your social media or request for them to share your story; but always leave a role for your audience.
According to Nick Morgan, as reported on Harvard Business Review, “in our information-saturated age, business leaders won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories”. No matter who you are or what you do, storytelling is able to amplify your voice. Never assume that your story is not worth telling. We have created this storytelling course to help you get started or take your storytelling to the next level. Do you have a story to share? Once upon a time is always a good place to start.
See about: YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS OUR SERVICES