Why & How “Storytelling” Works In Business & Everywhere!
How great is it to have a captive audience? When your listeners hang on to every word you say as you speak to a group or even just a single individual! There are some people who experience this magic every time they speak. You can probably think of a few right now who always have people stop and listen to every word they say.
“Let me tell you a story” is an opening that captures an attentive audience pretty consistently! Stories have a successful track record from our childhood to adulthood in making us stop and listen. When someone says, “let me tell you a story,” you can almost feel a shift in your “being” as you go into a more relaxed mode. You sit back and listen, and “connect!”
So what is it about stories? What do stories do? First they get our attention, directing us away from where we are. Then something happens and we become totally attentive as the story unfolds. Lastly closure is provided. Each segment flows to the next. AND within each segment, each sentence connects and flows to the next as do each of the words used in each sentence … bringing you into the “tide” of the story, and keeping you there (via the structure) until the ending!
When a story ends, you walk away with a complete A-Z communication that via its completeness has been listened to and heard. The pieces “connect & flow” AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the “communication” is remembered because of the “closure” that is used. How often, when asked to describe a book or a movie, do you maybe get fuzzy on the pieces of the “happening” but you can always share how it ends …right?
The story structure works wonderfully, as you would expect, when telling an actual story and/or when putting your marketing message into a story scenario. BUT ALSO, the story structure works wonderfully in ALL types of communications.
Lets break down the structure of a story as you might implement it in ALL types of communications:
Openings are used to catch attention, set the stage, get your listeners & readers in sync, get your listeners & readers positioned & ready to hear the next part of your communication. Openings can vary in style:
Simple: ATTENTION! HEADS UP! PICTURE THIS!
Targeting: Are You A 45+ Year Old Runner?
Introductory Statement: A love of soccer is sweeping the USA!!!
Actual Story Telling: A Financial Planning client came into my office today. His pain was great and his stress level high!
- SOMETHING HAPPENS!
From the stage that is set in the opening, a message is shared. The message might be:
Sharing of information.
Adding life with scenarios of the statement
Making a point.
An actual story
Closure provides completeness, an ending …something that is required by our human DNA. We look for it in everything we do, from eating dessert, to knowing the answer to a mystery, to getting over a loved one’s death, to finishing a book, to graduating from schools ,… we thrive on having “closure & completeness!”
When you provide closure, even in the simplest of communication it is like dotting the “i” and crossing the “t.” If you don’t provide it, you can get by without it … people usually know what you mean or fill in their own closure, BUT it is so much stronger and you make a much more cleaner “complete” connection when you do dot the “i” & cross the “t.”
Adding closure to all your business communications, short & long will add that extra glue for connecting to and captivating your audiences. Closure can be of several types with each type, in one way or another, summarizing & delivering the WHY of your communications. Some of the types are:
Simple Statement: See You There!
Call To Action: Buy Now!
Emotion: Cheers & Joy!
Direct WHY: To Your HEALTH!
A Result: They lived happily ever after.
Use the structure of a story in ALL your communications, short & long. Here is a short communication shown with partial use of a story structure and then with complete use of the story structure:
- With partial story structure– using Opening & Message only.
Greetings! Have a wonderful day.
This can work, i.e you can get by with this. Does it captivate?
- With complete story structure– adding a “closure” with the WHY.
Greetings! Have a wonderful day. You deserve it.
Quietly say both of these greetings to yourself as though you are receiving them from someone else and see if you experience an extra “bond” when (the why) “you deserve it” is added at the end. Specifically including the “why” … not assuming it .. provides immediate clarity for “connecting!” AND I ask you, which greeting “captivates” you more?
There are so many ways to apply the story structure to your business communications for having captive audiences. Turning your marketing messages into stories is an obvious and very KEY way. Structuring “ALL” your communications around the story structure is a bigger way that will enable you to tremendously increase your connectivity with all audiences both online AND offline.
If you are catching on to what I am sharing, start creating your communications with the story structure and let me know the differences you experience.
If you are not quite comfortable with how you would start using the story structure, I invite you to schedule a private workshop with me for assistance. We can customize a workshop specific to your business and your learning needs. Your email or phone call is welcomed. 310-306-1453 or email@example.com You also may be interested in my Content Marketing & Messaging Expertise Program … click here for all details:
In today’s business world, making less than “complete” connections with your audiences is almost equal to making no connections. There is just too much information out there. You can’t afford to be lost in the crowd. You must know how to “captivate” will all your communications.
Join me in saying, “YES” To Having Captive Audiences!