Successful communication is more than conveying information; it is about engaging your audience. As public relations and marketing professionals, we know successful communication is the act of striking an emotional chord, one powerful enough to compel your listeners to action. The most effective way to engage an audience is with storytelling: in fact, human brains are specifically wired for them.
So how do we create the narrative to form a compelling story? One factor we must remember is that stories not only let us consume information, they allow us to experience information, and experiences are deeply tied to emotion. Humans have been telling stories for thousands of years and do so every day. But how do you form a story to specifically serve business needs?
- Have a problem, and a resolution – What was the setback? Who is the hero of your story and why? What was the driving vision and the proactive action? A good point of resolution will satisfy your audience and amplify your message.
- Don’t be afraid of emotions – Emotions are what make a story powerful. Use descriptive vocabulary so that your listeners can “see” what you are talking about. For example, rather than simply talking about “clients” describe the people involved, what were their challenges and personal benefits?
- Keep it simple – Storytelling for business is different than writing a novel. You don’t need plot twists. The most important thing is to keep it simple yet relatable. Talk about the problem and the solution, and how you can get the client there.
- Make it relatable – As human beings, we engage more when we can relate. When telling your story, talk about how the challenge personally changed your way of thinking or shaped the outcome. Chances are your audience will be able to relate to the challenges, after all, every business experiences them. By making the story relatable, you are allowing your audience to make the story about them.
Storytelling is a powerful tool in the hands of an astute communications professional. It builds trust with the audience – primarily because it involves putting the audience first. A strong brand relies on the narrative of a story. It is up to you to craft that narrative.
At Oster and Associates, we can craft the perfect story to convey your core messages and lead your customers into a deeper relationship with your brand. Need help navigating the waters of storytelling? Contact us to learn more about how we can craft your perfect narrative.