It’s summer and you’re thirteen. Huddled around a crackling campfire with the rest of your compadres, your scoutmaster paces in and out of the shadows recounting the terrifying tale of the one legged coyote.
You didn’t miss a word…in fact you didn’t even blink. To this day, I bet you remember that entire story… and you’ve probably forgotten almost everything else that scoutmaster’s ever said to you.
That’s the beauty of stories. They engage, compel, and have a knack for nestling into your memory. And they’re not just for the campfire. Let’s take a look at three reasons why storytelling is key to your company.
1. Engage the Listener
Whether you realize it or not, you are an excellent storyteller! In fact, I’ll bet you told at least one story today whether it was online, drawn on a cave wall, or even in person! It’s what we’ve been doing since the dawn of man, and due to this innate storytelling talent – we are also excellent story listeners. So why do we, when in a corporate setting, forget our most basic forms of communication and turn to PowerPoint presentations?
Try using this structure next time you need to communicate a message:
Setting: Set the stage
Conflict: Illustrate a problem that listeners can relate to
The Quest: Explain how that problem can be fixed and fix it!
- Resolution: Show how everything is better now that you fixed the problem. This is also your call to action!
When you speak to someone through story or metaphor, you’re taking your bare facts and moving them through the structure above. This makes it easier for your listener to understand and connect while creating a more exciting and engaging experience.
In an excellent blog by KISSmetrics, they state, “Simply collecting a bunch of stories without much consistency is a quick way to lose the interest of your audience. You must have a strong central narrative theme to tie them all together.”
Here’s another interesting article that digs deep into engagement and the effects of storytelling on the brain.
2. Compel Action
In the blog post The Most Important Thing You Can Do As a Founder by Demo Duck Founder Andrew Follett, he states, “…an inspiring story brings your business to life for potential customers, investors, and employees.” The story can be the difference between prospective clients understanding your business and leaving confused and uninspired to convert.
The Piano Guys put out a funny and well edited video explaining how they develop their music, their struggles, and their general love of creation and collaborating. This all leads up to a call to action which is strengthened by everything preceding.
Studies have shown that when it comes to decision making, we favor emotion and feelings over reasoning. This is important to note for when you might be pitching a new idea to your team or trying to raise money. While your data may be compelling, it’s vital to include elements of story into your pitch.
In an article byGeorge Bradt, he explains how HOPEHIV’s Phil Wall chose to use story at an annual meeting rather than just rely on their powerful statistics. Through story, Wall brought up feelings from the listeners, making his eventual call to action that much more compelling.
3. Have a Lasting Impact
“Any time we experience something in a heightened emotional state, we’re more likely to remember it,” states professor of psychiatryDr. Gary Small.
By sharing an idea through story, you are in fact heightening your listener’s emotional state, causing them to feel and relate to what you’re saying.
Telling the story behind how we produce our explainer videos
Now I’m not saying get up on your desk and do a dramatic retelling of Braveheart (even though I would probably pay to see that), but think about the different ways you can relay information in order to keep it fresh in people’s minds.
So what now? Here are three platforms for telling stories that stick.
1. An Explainer Video
If you haven’t guessed from the name, explains your product or service by simplifying – through visual and story – how your product works and the problem it solves.
2. A Founder Video
An interview with your founder is an excellent way to share the story of how your company came to be, what values your company stands for, and struggles you’ve had to overcome. Founder videos are great because they key the audience into a side of the business not normally seen, the human side! This creates an honest connection between the founder and the potential client.