What I love about the internet is that you can find countless amounts of information about any given subject. What I hate about the internet is that you can find countless amounts of information about any given subject. How am I supposed to try to know what to do with so many choices? You’re talking to a guy that sees wearing a uniform for work as a benefit. I don’t have to decide what to wear. I just make sure it’s clean.
Recently, I’ve had opportunities to teach storytelling in a business setting. It’s growing as a skill needed in business to sell a product, your business, or yourself. Let me tell you, there are a lot of books and people telling exactly how to do it. Somehow, they manage to be different in their approach.
This blog post will be the beginning of a series that will appear occasionally that will show things I come across in storytelling that is just a lot. It may not be an answer to a question dealing with storytelling. Why would I plan to do is to have an occasional blog post trying to make sense of what’s out there. Why? So you can make sense of what’s out there.
On my other blog, Story Telling On Purpose, I talked about different genres of storytelling (See Here). As I was looking for videos on storytelling in business, I came across one (https://youtu.be/nr1vlfbCqFY ) that talked about different types of stories used in business. Using that as a start, I decided to add other types of stories used in business. Here is what I came up with in conjunction with what is in the video.
The Founder Story
- How you (or the business creator) started the business
- Great for using hero’s journey types of story
The Brand Story
- Something that really embodies what it is your organization stands for. It’s the story that sums up either the vision, the mission, the values, or all three of the business.
- Sometimes, the founder story may double as this
- Also, think about the stories of employees doing something that exemplifies what the mission, vision, or values are.
The Customer Success Story
- Stories that show how other customers that used your business or product have taken care of an issue or problem.
- These stories from the customer or employees in the organization that helped that customer take care of the issue or problem.
The Leadership Story
- An inspirational story of a leader in the organization (could be the overall leader, or just a key person in the organization).
- Can be stories such as the leader making a mistake, fixing the mistake, and what the leader learned from the mistake.
- Typically used to help inspire people in the organization during a tough time they are currently facing
The Overcome/Inspirational Story
- A point in the business that thought times came, and the company persisted
- This could be because of one person, or the combined effort of the group
- While a leadership story can be one and the same as this story, it seems to work best when focused on the accomplishment of other people in the organization.
Now is a good time to remind you that business storytelling is normally considered to be a true, first-person narrative. It doesn’t have to be that. You can have a true story that is not yours (be sure to cite the source you got it from). You can also use traditional stories such as parables and folk tales to explain a point. Aesop’s Fables come to mind as a good example. Telling a story is a way to make things easy to remember and understand. Stories from all genres accomplish this.
So why does this matter?
There is still plenty more to talk about when it comes to storytelling in business. After putting this information together about is: What is the purpose of telling the story? I am finding a lot of information about telling a story in business, but I don’t see much about being clear on why you are telling a story. Whether to explain, inspire, or persuade, you as the storyteller have to be clear on why you are telling a story. If you aren’t clear on why you are telling the story, people may not be clear on why should they listen. If you are someone looking to tell a story in a business setting, I encourage you to use the list above as a starting point for why you are telling the story. Then, you can really tell your story on purpose.