‘…It’s a human need to be told stories….we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.’ – Alan Rickman
The late, great actor hit the nail squarely on the head and this philosophy is true across all aspects of life, especially in business.
You may not think it, but you have a story to tell. What led you to start your own business, what was your journey to taking the step to entrepreneurship and what is it that makes you stand out from the competition?
Identifying your story doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Start by thinking about the message that you want your audience to remember and what your call to action will be. Without a clear message, your story is pointless.
Remember that while your story needs colour and detail, it also needs to advance to allow you to get to the point of the story. You want to engage and interest your audience, not go through the minutiae -a failsafe way to lose their attention. Go through your story and edit it down until you’ve got the key points. This might take a while, but the more you look at the story, the more you can see what the most interesting points are and which will help you get your message across.
The most effective stories are the ones that are true and that come from the heart. This might seem at odds with what you believe about presenting a ‘business-like’ persona, but to be truly authentic, you need to be yourself. Speak in your own voice rather than in business jargon and people will be more likely to engage with you and with your story.
Speaking authentically also means not reading your presentation from PowerPoint or from a piece of paper – practice until you feel comfortable telling your story. How comfortable you feel about your story when you practice telling it will also tell you what needs to be taken out, what needs to be put back in and how you express yourself most clearly.
Learning how to tell your story can also help you in one-to-one situations when you are at a networking event or a meeting. When you feel comfortable with your narrative you will be able to edit it according to who you’re speaking to.
As well as being a useful process for face-to-face situations such as giving presentations and talks, this can be also used across all your marketing materials. Is your website telling your story? Does your social media represent you as you want to be seen? It’s well known that people buy into people and work with people that they like, so telling a story that people can identify with will help them to buy into your personal brand as well as your company.
By Deon Newbronner – Managing Director – Pitch Perfect Club
Join us at ThinkB!G on 8th June
You can learn more about effective storytelling at ThinkB!G on 8 June 2016, a one day conference where they will share the secrets of effective storytelling and help business owners understand how to use storytelling skills to grow their businesses.
Attendees will benefit from presentations from some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and speakers including Lara Morgan, Julia Streets and Randolph Matthews.
The event is sponsored by NatWest and takes place on 8 June from 9am-5pm at 280 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4RB.
Tickets are £285.00 excl. VAT. Tickets purchased before 13 April 2016 are at an early bird rate of £185.00.