What’s all the hype around storytelling? Is it justified?
“Storytelling” has become a trendy concept in recent years, but in fact, it has existed since the dawn of humanity. Stories are how people transferred information from one another, often while gathered around the campfire.
Children grow up with stories, learning about the practicalities and rules of life..
Simply put, a story is a connected set of events that takes the listener on a journey.
Stories can also be described as data wrapped in emotions, or data with a soul.
We all listen to and tell stories, be it through news, sports, social networks, or face-to-face interactions.
In business, stories are used to sell, motivate, and inspire people to act.
But according to Gary Vaynerchuk, a Belarusian-American entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality – “Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.”
We are not all born with the ability to tell a good story. Storytelling doesn’t come naturally for many, but we can all learn..
When told properly, stories can change our opinions, beliefs, and values.
Stories change our world.
While storytelling is not a new method, it is for sure a valuable one.
What must every story have?
Want to tell a good story that will help you sell better, make a convincing point, or inspire your audience?
Make sure your story includes these 3 elements:
- A hero, something or someone the audience can relate to and identify with
- A quest/journey, action towards a worthy goal
- A challenge, something or someone that is a real obstacle
Don’t hide competition, struggles, or opposition.
The bigger the challenge, the sweeter the victory.
Remember: no drama – no story!
Those three elements will then be wrapped with a beginning and an end:
A) “the GPS” – Setting the scene, the where and when of a story
B) Resolution and conclusion, the lesson learned (it doesn’t have to be a happy ending, but it has to end with a message)
Just build the right story, the rest will come.
How to start a story?
Interested in telling a story, but not sure where to begin? How to get your audience hooked into your story?
Here are 3 questions you should answer at the beginning:
WHEN | WHERE | WHO
When did it happen? Share the date, day, or a clear time period.
Where did it take place? What was the location?
Who was involved? Be clear about the main characters in the story, to help your listeners connect to them and their journey.
Imagine telling a story to a child. You start with “Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a queen…” and then, stop. The child’s immediate response will be “and…? What happened??” You got them hooked.
In business? “Last night I met the CEO of a well-known startup in a restaurant on Tel Aviv’s beach.”
The immediate response is – “and…? What happened?” You got them hooked.
The “hook” comes from a well-placed When, Where, and Who.
And the story lived happily ever after… 😉
How and where can you find stories?
Now you’ve reached the point where you want to use more storytelling in your communication. Great! But, you can’t think of a good story to share? Where can you find great stories?
Well, it’s a matter of awareness. It’s like when you want to buy a specific car – you start doing your research, shopping around, even go for a test drive. Then, you suddenly see it everywhere.
The same is true here. Start by getting into the story-finding mindset. There are 2 methods:
- Fish: throw a net and see what comes up. Be alert – whenever you experience or hear a good story – write it down!
- Hunt: go to specific people that have good stories (such as customers, managers, grandparents…) and interview them.
So, When is the worst time to look for a story?
When you need one.