Storytelling according to Wikipedia is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and to instill moral values.
Storytelling is well connected to evaluation. Everyone has a story so tell your own story to others, whether good or bad, in a way that would help your listener give a proper evaluation of who you are and what you can do. At job interviews they ask questions to hear your story and evaluate if you’re the best fit or not. Your business plan, grant proposal and business case all bear your business story. Storytelling can also earn you good money if you have the skill and can tell your story well for a storytelling competition.
According to human psychologists, stories have persuasive effects and affect human minds. Our attitudes, fears, hopes, and values are strongly influenced by story. We are creatures of story, and the process of changing one mind or the whole world must begin with, “Once upon a time.” Without a compelling story, we are told our product, idea, or personal brand, is dead on arrival. In Peter Guber’s book, Tell to Win, he argues that humans simply aren’t moved to action by “data dumps,” dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion.
You can use the power of storytelling to transport and transform your business and other organizations into success, by adopting the strategies of creating storytelling cultures in and around the organization. Individuals who have the passion and creativity can use storytelling skills to make an impact in journalism, media, business development, international aid, and non-profit capacity building.
You can help non-profits and start-ups raise funds to build their capacity through effective communication and storytelling. You can collect and analyze stories as well as measure and evaluate project impact through storytelling. Want to engage all the people that are important to you? Tell stories that add value to the listener. Use it as a winning strategy to present your idea, product or service. Effective storytelling can help you increase your customer base and revenues. It’s a powerful sales, marketing and decision stimulating tool, but you have to learn to use it right.
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman.
By Christiana Mbazigwe, Duric Business Solutions, Toronto, ON, CYBF mentor