Four ways storytelling helps you and your business

Four ways storytelling helps you and your business

STORY FOR BUSINESS

Start: 5 October 2020
Duration: 7 weeks
Sessions: 6
Price: £1,200

MORE INFO

Storytelling isn't just for entertainment - it's also an increasingly used business tool. Guest blogger and Storyteller at Microsoft UK, Kris Evans explains how mastering the art of the story will not only improve your company's business-to-business interactions, but also help you to retain cohesion, and run efficiently internally.

Story.

The word stands there like a statue. As old as humanity, and as new as the latest buzz-word. In business we seem to agree that stories are useful, but are we really sure when and where to use them?

This article isn’t the place to get into the mechanics of how stories work – the fastest way to understand that is to roll up your sleeves and take a course. But what we can do is take a snapshot of some ways that stories can help you and your business in very practical ways:

PROBLEM 1: Your team is doing great work, but no one knows about it. Okay, you want to publicise what you’re doing internally. You could hold a meeting and present facts and figures but you’re going to put everyone to sleep. If you create a story around what your team is doing, you’ll hook your audience and take them on a journey. The medium isn’t important – it might be a video, an animation, an article, an email – but using storytelling techniques you can articulate the great work your team is doing to the rest of the company. Everyone looks good.

PROBLEM 2: Your company doesn’t know who or what it is. Yes, of course you know what product or service you offer, but what is your company actually about? Maybe your business is new or perhaps you have changed priorities over the years. How do you communicate your brand within the business so everyone is on the same page? The answer: Stories.

PROBLEM 3: Your business does a lot of telling, but not much showing. This is a concept that all novelists fear and it’s true for business as well. Find a balance between telling the potential customer how great your products/services are and also taking a step back and simply showing an aspect of your company in action. Think of how nervous flyers are put at ease when they learn about the expertise of the pilot and the incredible engineering of the aeroplane. Writing stories about your people and processes without mentioning a single product or service can be a vital and very human element in your overall communications. Think of it as in-house journalism.

PROBLEM 4: You can’t get out of the business-to-business mindset. In 2016, with work/home life blurring, people bring their consumer experience into the business space. The sooner you realise that the senior executive you’re trying to sell to is also still a person, the easier it is to communicate with them. But how to do that? First, kill the jargon (they’re as sick of it as you are), but then think deeply about the problems and worries this potential customer faces in both their home and working lives. Yes, worries. We’re talking about emotions. How do you get inside their head without reading their diary? By thinking of them as a character. Novelists create characters all day long, and by building a portrait of your potential customer, you’re soon effortlessly communicating business-to-person.

So there you go: Four quick ways to use storytelling to better communicate aspects of your business – not just to the outside world, but to yourself and your co-workers as well.

_____________

Kris Evans is a writer at Microsoft UK and tutor on Faber Academy’s (Online) Writing a Novel course. He has written several novels for Hodder & Stoughton and radio plays for BBC Radio 4. His current graphic novel can be read online here.

Applications are now open for our next Story for Business course and you can book your place here. For more information on all John Yorke’s Into the Woods courses, go to www.johnyorkestory.com

STORY FOR BUSINESS

Start: 5 October 2020
Duration: 7 weeks
Sessions: 6
Price: £1,200

MORE INFO

YOU MAY also LIKE
Why three-act business stories don’t work anymore

Why three-act business stories don’t work anymore

Want to craft a successful story about a business, brand or product? Our Story for Business course tutor Richard Benson explains how writing business stories in five acts creates more impact than three, and why all businesses must understand why good story structure can build effective, emotional connections with their audience.

Businesses – so you think you understand story?

Businesses – so you think you understand story?

Nick Parker has made a career telling stories, but it’s taken until now to work out how they really work. In advance of the launch of his Story for Business course, devised with John Yorke, Nick recounts the story of his relationship with story.

Uploaded by John Yorke Story Team

}

Published on June 7, 2016

Share This