Great story-telling: Hunter’s top tips for your business
As communications professionals, we are storytellers at heart.
We tell stories that drive enquiry, that enhance reputation, that create emotion, that create advocates for a brand and that inform.
Storytelling is a tradition that has transcended generations, cultures and language.
Long observed across every culture, storytelling methods are powerful communication tools that have been reported, including written, visual and oral mediums.
Often, our first memories of storytelling experiences begin as children, being told night-time stories by our parents to fall asleep, or reading our first books and understanding the narrative in-front of us.
What makes a great story?
Expert storytellers will tell you that the best stories are created with a specific audience in mind.
It helps to know who you will be addressing throughout your story to best allocate use of language, tone and structure to best convey a desired message.
A great storyteller evokes the right emotions at the right time - whether that be happiness, or sadness and also inspires a call-to-action such as signing up, donating or enquiring to find out more.
Stories can help solidify abstract concepts, promote ideas, inspire and motivate and even bring people together.
Storytelling in the business context
Every business or organisation should be telling their story.
You can do this through a wide variety of mediums that suit your audience – from written words, to images to video content. But what are the basics of a good story in business and what do you need to consider? 1. Know your audience
Essential to all great communications is starting with your audience. You need to be clear on the audience you want to reach and what is important to them. You need to tell a story that they can relate to or connect with.
2. Determine the objective of your storytelling efforts
What do you want to achieve through your story? For example, are you trying to promote a service? Sell a product? Inspire someone to find out more about your organisation? Enhance the reputation of your founder or showcase your team to promote your employer brand? Be clear on this so you can define your message(s).
3. Define your message
You need to be really clear on what your message is and what is important to your audience and what you want to achieve. Consider the tone of your message depending on the type of action you want your audience to take or the emotion you want them to feel. For example, do you want them to feel inspired to make a change and sign up for your program or do you want them to feel sympathy toward a cause and make a donation?
4. Create action
A great story should create action from your audience. Be clear on what action you want them to take and make sure your story inspires this.
5. Be authentic and unique
Own your business brand voice and be authentic. “People buy from people” and that connection to your business is so important.
And tell a story that is unique. In an age of information over-load make sure you stand out to your target audience.
6. Choose your medium
Stories can be told in a variety of mediums, depending on what might work for your audience. You can write a story, speak a story (a live event for example), create an audio story (podcast); or tell a story via digital mediums (such as videos, animations etc).
The final word
Stories that captivate and maintain the attention of wide audiences require the ability to understand the desires of the audiences they are appealing to, engage the imagination of the reader/ listener / watcher, as well as evoke emotion that leaves a lasting impact.
Stories come in many forms, but the fundamentals remain the same. A great story takes time to plan and structure, but when done well – it is a wonderful asset to your business.