“Storytelling is who we are”, Gallo
High-tech entrepreneur, investor and author Ben Horowitz stated that the most under-rate skill among new entrepreneurs is story telling. What names do you think of with respect to famous business leaders that delivered impactful and memorable,” take action” stories? One for sure at the top of the list to me is of course, Steve Jobs.
Storytelling is all about presenting our ideas, personality and business interests to another person or group. Effective storytellers have the ability to use the examples and background to move people, organizations, and countries to change. Think about Steve Jobs and the impact he had when he walked on stage with his thought provoking stories with the launch of new products and the famous Stanford University speech.
Let’s be clear – story telling is not making up a line of B.S. and promoting it to get to a specific objective. B.S. and there is so much of it around the world will eventually blow up and all credibility is lost.
Effective story telling must be short – 15 to 20 minutes at the most. The shorter the better and consider writing it out, how many words is your best story – rework it and consider making it shorter. Fewer words always will be more effective to your audience.
The challenge is to keep the communication message to be clear and concise, but with “clear and concise” there is a greater opportunity to change thinking. Think of it as a different version of the elevator speech. How often do you attend a meeting listening to a presentation and the story telling is weak and not on point? Immediately, the audience gets restless and everyone then moves concentration to their smart phone to check email or text a spouse.
Great storytelling requires emotion and the great storytellers do it so easily with almost no effort. Have you written down you most impactful, business, life and family stories?
Story writing – 2 Simple steps
Step 1. Simply write down the story in detail in a journal or word document
- Worst job
- Biggest life or business mistake
- Greatest success on how you helped someone or an organization
- Mentor story
- School experience and the impact or a great book
Step 2. Consolidate the word count of each story (or just one story) to 5-7 words on a small index card and laminate it.
Review it often and the next time you are in a position an idea to persuade another person to take action you will have your stories in your mind.
Storytelling can change your business and life.