Who doesn’t love a great story? Brilliant stories capture our imagination, make us laugh and move us. Before the written word (and powerpoint!) ideas and experiences were shared verbally. But how did people absorb and remember information verbally, how was it passed successfully from generation to generation? Put simply, people remember what they care about. Stories express how and why life changes. They unite ideas with emotion. They put our whole brain to work allowing us to bond to messages.
So what can businesses learn from this ancient art? Storytelling is still one of the most effective communication tools we have. An effective business or leader can use storytelling to not only share information, but to connect with people around them.
What is corporate storytelling?
Corporate storytelling uses the principles of narrative to communicate business information in an engaging and emotive way.
Corporate storytelling is simply effective communication.
It can make you better understood, believed in and trusted. Compared to conventional rhetoric (discourse designed to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations), storytelling builds messages people care about. Hearing a story puts much more of our brain to work than simply listening to a presentation. Not only can we stimulate various areas of the brain, but if the listener relates to a story, their brain’s can become syncronised with the storyteller’s. Emotions that the storyteller is experiencing can be shared with the listener.
Simple tips to tell a good story:
Keep it simple. Less is more is a basic rule of good storytelling. Stories are not about impressing people, they are about sharing an experience, so avoid complex detail and use simple language to express ideas.
Always keep the audience in mind. To be effective, the audience must be able to relate to the story. Use examples and situations your audience is likely to have experienced. It’s also helpful to treat your listeners as an audience rather than pre-defined segments (and stereotypes) such as customers, employees or shareholders etc.
Find the human story. Effective stories involve real people and emotion. Skillful storytellers can weave information about themselves without appearing pretentious. Past stories of struggles, failures and overcoming barriers are an excellent way to help connect with the audiences as everyone has experienced this. This will compel the teller to appear more human.
Authenticity is key. To create true trust with an audience, a good storyteller must be sincere and honest in what they are saying. This is what makes a story stand out from persuasive rhetoric. It also requires the teller to let their guard down and be vulnerable to show their true self.
Use video to tell your story
Video is made for storytelling. It literally brings your story to life through the powerful combination of audio, vision, music and text. These elements help to create authenticity and elicit an emotional connection with audiences because you can actually see and hear people delivering the message. It’s also a superbly efficient way of conveying a lot of information in a short space of time, ultimately saving you time and money.
At Visual Culture. we help clients create stories everyday. We love helping businesses and brands find a creative and compelling way to communicate their unique story. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you connect with audiences through the power of corporate storytelling.