What’s Your Story?: The Art of Storytelling

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Everyone has a story, every business has a story and every product or service has a story. Knowing your story is one thing, tell your story is another. Telling a great story is even more a important.

The following are some of the ingredients of telling a great story:

  • Great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences. The Mandela’s story of forgiveness has been able to capture the imagination of the world.
  • A great story is true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for an entrepreneur to get away with a story that’s just slapped on. If you say your product is consistent and reliable and you tell how it has saved a lot of people’s lives, it better true and consistent story.
  • Great stories make a promise. They promise fun, safety or a shortcut. The promise needs to be bold and audacious. Defending mediocrity is tiring.

A story is either exceptional or it’s not worth listening to.

  • Great stories are trusted. Trust is the scarcest resource we have got left. No one trusts anyone. People don’t trust the spokespeople on commercials, people don’t trust politicians and their stories anymore (is it a “better life for all” or “a better life for some”). As a result, no entrepreneur succeeds in telling a story unless he has earned the credibility to tell that story. Tell your story, live your story, that’s how you earn integrity. Telling a story and doing the opposite renders your story to be a fairy tale.
  • Great stories are subtle. Surprisingly, the fewer details an entrepreneurs says, the more powerful the story becomes. Less is more.

A great story teller understand that allowing people to draw their own conclusions is far more effective than announcing the punch line.

  • Great stories happen fast. First impressions are far more powerful than we give them credit for.

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