Creativity and business are often seen as completely separate things. Creatives generally hate thinking about the business side and the business side tends to neglect their creativity or think that it’s not relevant. But the two should go hand in hand. Creativity and storytelling can make your business ideas fly. And creatives can reach a wider audience if they get to grips with all that business stuff.
So how can you bring storytelling into business?
People connect to stories. Whatever it is that you are aiming to sell, if you can find the story behind it, then people are more likely to buy it. And at some point, you are going to have to ‘pitch’ (you too, creatives!).
The Pitch is a daunting thing that most (sane) people hate having to do. Bland pitches that just state facts and figures are going to bore the pants off your audience, whether that audience is financiers, buyers, producers, commissioners, your boss, or your team.
So, whatever you’re pitching, it’s a good idea to find the story within and then take your audience on a journey so that your idea comes alive and ceases to be just some slides on a screen. Find a hero. Who is your product or idea for? How will someone benefit from it? How will it improve lives? Create a character that can demonstrate the purpose of your idea. Take that character (and your audience) on an emotional ride.
When Tinder did its original pitch deck they created a ‘Hero’ called Mat. Mat suffered from Fear of Rejection – a highly relatable ‘flaw’. It made the purpose of Tinder instantly recognisable and personified it in a way that made it jump off the page.
Or find a tagline that suggests a whole load of story. For example, the evergreen ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ is a super clever bit of story suggesting. It is so clever that it has embedded itself into our cultural consciousness and it’s used every day as a punchline for personal jokes in multiple situations. It suggests that something bad / funny/ stupid has happened as a result of not being able to see properly. It’s super relatable, especially for anyone with poor eyesight. But most of us can probably think of a moment in our lives when we, or someone we know, has had some kind of incident because they weren’t seeing clearly. The pitch deck for that campaign would have practically made itself.
Your pitch decks are where you can bring your story to life. And your story will make your pitch decks punch through. Nice graphs and pie charts are all well and good, but we’ve seen them all before and people tend to switch off and zone out when looking at them. But if you have a character that is taking us through the story of your idea, people will connect and want to know what happens. It’s human nature to want to know the ending when we’ve been given an engaging beginning. Grab your audience with the unexpected. The epic. The intriguing. Paint a picture. Make your idea come to life. Don’t be scared to try something new. Your idea will definitely stand out and be remembered if you do. Bring entertainment into the boardroom. Stories are everywhere. Why shouldn’t they be in business too?
In her work as a Development Producer, Emma Millions has created hundreds of pitch decks and watched with interest as the industry becomes more and more deck focussed.
As a Script Consultant and Mentor, she has helped many clients not only improve their stories but also find the best visual way to pitch them to industry. She believes that decks are an extremely powerful and effective way to tell your story and that, as creatives, we should be embracing the form.
Find out more about Emma on her team page here.