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Free Workshop "How To Tell Stories About Your Business"

Did you know that  knowing how to tell stories about your business is one of the keys to your success?

Telling a short & compelling story about your business usually involves:

  • Talking not about how to helped someone, but about general industry events or happenings
  • The story should short, less than 1 minute or you will lose people
  • The story should be as universal as possible, so many people relate to it easily
  • If you can have some kind of a shocking element, that is helpful

Did you know, you can be a horrible at telling stories, and still tell a good story if the content is good (shocking, engaging, compelling)?

Let me give you an example:

When I talk about “story telling” I’m talking about something very scientific, like “calculus.”   Your story could have “perfect” structure, in that it hits all the  best practices, but that won’t make it a perfect piece of entertainment.

Example:

Once upon a time, there was a man who was hungry for a meal. He got up off the couch, went to his kitchen, made a TV dinner, found a soda, drank it, and returned to his couch, hunger satisfied.

That was “perfect story structure.” On the other hand, the story downright boring and likely to be a sleep enhancing opportunity for most folks.

Here’s an alternate example:

Once upon a time,  a fast food worker won the lottery for 900 million dollars.    The next day he bought a helicopter and flew to Mexico to go surfing where he was bit by a great white shark and died.   Then the world was taken over by robots with nuclear powered lasers.    The End.

Telling stories is common in any language.  Think of all the situations in which you can tell a story:

  • Talking about your past to a friend
  • Giving details about something that happened at a conference
  • Relating shocking information about your industry
  • Telling colleagues about what happened on a business trip

In each of these situations – and many others – you provide information about something that happened in the past. In order to help your audience understand, you need to link these ideas together. One of the most important ways to link ideas is to sequence them. Sequencing refers to the order in which events happened. These are some of the most common ways to sequence in writing or speaking:

Beginning:

Firstly,
First of all,
To start off with,
Initially,

Examples:

Firstly, I began my education in London.
First of all, I opened the cupboard.
To start off with, we decided our destination was New York.
Initially, I thought it was a bad idea, …

Continuing:

Then,
After that,
Next,
As soon as / When + full clause,
… but then
Immediately,

Examples:

Then, I started to get worried.
After that, we knew that there would be no problem!
Next, we decided on our strategy.
As soon as we arrived, we unpacked our bags.
We were sure everything was ready, but then we discovered some unexpected problems.
Immediately, I telephoned my friend Tom.

Interruptions / New Elements to the Story:

Suddenly,
Unexpectedly,

Examples:

Suddenly, a child burst into the room with a note for Ms. Smith.
Unexpectedly, the people in the room didn’t agree with the mayor.

Events Occurring at the Same Time

While / As + full clause
During + noun (noun clause)

Examples:

While we were getting ready for the trip, Jennifer was making the reservations at the travel agent’s.
During the meeting, Jack came over and asked me a few questions.

Ending:

Finally,
In the end,
Eventually,
Lastly,

Examples:

Finally, I flew to London for my meeting with Jack.
In the end, he decided to postpone the project.
Eventually, we became tired and returned home.
Lastly, we felt we had had enough and went home.


GENERAL STORY STRUCTURE:
– Get the audience to identify with someone or something,
– Give that someone or something some kind of need,
– And start changing the circumstances.

You’ve then got to:

– Have that someone or something deal with the new circumstances
– And find the thing that was needed.

You’ve then got to:

– Have that someone or something pay the price of the find
– And start heading back toward the original circumstances.

And finally:

– show how those original circumstances have changed as a result.

Want to learn more and practice your story telling live in front of a group?   We have an exciting new meet up group every Thursday at The Eagle Inn at 7pm-8pm.  Come down and test out your story telling chops amongst a supportive, listening group of like minded business owners.

One Comment
  1. Reply
    Andie Samben

    You’ve really given me a lot to think about. I didn’t know story telling was so important or that so much thought went into it. Thanks for offering this workshop – I will be sure to check it out.

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