We live in times where we find ourself confronted with more information than our brain can handle. To protect us from a complete overwhelm we therefore let only fragments of information pass through. Products from brands you love, helpful services or coaching offers, a free download, a blogpost, a podcast episode, even just a follow nowadays that manages to get a place in your mind and heart have an important difference towards all the others that are begging for your attention. Their storytelling is brilliant.
The online world has become such a noisy and busy place, you might feel many brands are so similar to your business and you feel unseen. Storytelling is your chance to stand out in between all that noise and thousands of brands. Your story makes you unmistakably you. You dream of a business that has an anchored place in the heart of your people and engaging with them gives you all the joy? Then its story-time!
Stories have always been around for as long as we can think back in human life. People like the feeling of sharing their experiences. We post, we chat, we sit around a dining table, a campfire, we hold meetings. At the end of the day it is all about a good story. There are several more reasons why we need to stop simply selling something to people and start to really show what makes us special and furthermore invite them to be part of the story. I´ve written down my favourite four reasons why creating a story is inevitable nowadays, most importantly, if you want to connect to your people, stand out amongst your competitors and build a true relationship with your people.
1 Stories connect you to your people
Good stories connect people. People love stories. Therefore good stories will continue to be told. We all know the following situation – you hear something and think ”Yeah, I know exactly what you mean”. You can relate. You feel connected to a person automatically because you have had the same experience. The story stays in our mind easily.
2 Stories evoke emotions
Stories create emotions – that is a fact. We all know the situation when you are extremely well-prepared and open a meeting with various logical reasons presenting all logical facts you could find. At the end the opposite side says:”Sorry. We are not convinced”. This is the same with everyday situations. A very well known situation for example are our children at home. It depends on your story if you want to make them do something they dislike. I know a mum who kept telling their children that deep frozen peas are a delicacy and a real treat. They ever since loved peas, deep frozen of course.
It is HOW you present your story which determines how enthusiastic the opposite side is – or not. The challenge is to create a vision, which the opposite side or your customer/ client recognises and wishes to be part of. They do not make this decision because they are convinced by facts but because they have the feeling of having made a good decision besides which it gives added value to their life.
3 Stories are easy to remember
People who know what they are talking about don’t need powerpoint
Steve Jobs quotes this and he is so right. I don’t think he was ever seen holding a presentation with charts. He much more preferred seeing people engage and he really understood what he was talking about.
Just count the number of presentations or meetings you have been to with hundreds of presentations, stats, graphs and other things. How much do you remember? What are you taking home or telling others about it? On my phone you’ll find a saved album with pictures of Powerpoint slides from a number of events I´ve been to. I thought I HAD to save them because the information they provide is helpful and informative and might be of use at some point. But how can something be valuable for me if I don’t even remember it an hour later. (Having said this, I might just delete the album.)
In early school days I had a crazy teacher who would jump around with a banana demonstrating a life of a chimp. Those pictures will stay in my mind forever. Now, we don’t have to pretend to be a chimp to stand out but it is a good example how stories work their way into your mind. The story that will stay in our mind has touched us in a certain way. That is why we will remember it.
4 Stories are authentic
A good story always comes from your heart. It is something that you have experienced, dreamed of something that you can relate to.
Don´t lie to your people. Tell them the truth. Nowadays people have the ability and know-how to uncover fake news within a snap.
If you tell them YOUR own story its very likely that they will love it and soak in everything that you are presenting.