The Business of Storytelling
By Andy Likes, TVG Senior Vice President
Over the last 11+ years in PR, I’ve had the opportunity to work with nearly every type of subject matter expert, including doctors, engineers, lawyers, financial planners and everything in between. One thing is certain with subject matter experts- they know their job and the company better than anyone.
Where knowledge is their greatest strength, storytelling is, perhaps, their greatest challenge. Because subject matter experts rarely have time to tell their story. In fact, many don’t really understand the business of storytelling.
Correctly executed, storytelling is powerful. But what is storytelling? Storytelling is the art and science of telling stories about your business in an effort to engage with your audience and leave them with a positive, memorable impression. In a business setting, the audience is typically clients or potential clients. But storytelling is also successful at networking events and conferences. TVG’s newest training and executive coaching class focuses almost exclusively on storytelling, including topics such as why we should tell stories, why it’s good for business, how to tell stories and the components of a good story.
In our view, stories must have three main components, and they should be relatively simple to remember. All stories, no exceptions, must have a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning is your introduction—who you are and why you are telling the story. It’s usually 90 seconds or less. This is the time your audience will decide whether to listen to you or not. This component is very important to get right because you don’t get a second chance. The second component is the middle. The more specific you are, the more you are able to paint a picture with words for your audience.
Finally, the ending wraps up your story, and reminds your audience of who you are and why you told the story. It always includes an action item for the listener. Action items might include suggestions to follow the company on social media, check out your website or set up a meeting to talk further.
Stories are engaging and stories must have a reason to be told. That’s where TVG comes in. Our expert facilitators can help you identify stories by subject matter experts, we can refine the stories to fit a purpose and timeline, and make them want to know more about you and your company.
We can help you tell your story. Give us a call, drop us an email or check out our website. You’ll have one more story to tell about how storytelling helped grow your business.