Keys to Business Storytelling

“People want story because story fits the mind. It is how the mind absorbs, sorts and structures reality.” Robert McKee

Storytelling is an extremely effective way to share information with an audience. It makes complex data easier to understand. It can clarify or emphasize an important point. It also has more sticking power so your audience can hold on to what they’ve just heard a lot longer. There are two commonly held myths with storytelling in business.

The first myth is: “I must know a formula.”
It’s not true in business storytelling. Simply start with the point you are trying to make and give an example that emphasizes the point. If you share a succinct example, it is called a vignette and is usually under twenty seconds in length. In business, the majority of effective storytelling is either a vignette or an anecdote, which is slightly more involved and runs thirty seconds to a minute in length.

The second myth is: “I don’t have any stories.”
The truth is, you don’t need the stories to be personal to be effective, and stories can be found all around you. We find brainstorming to be an excellent way to flush out ideas for stories. You can download our brainstorming tool to find multiple sources from which to draw stories.

Stories don’t need to be complex or long. The most powerful stories include people in them. When the human element is shared the story comes to life. So the next time you find yourself pulling together a presentation, challenge yourself to make your point with a simple human story.

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