The Power of Storytelling

Peter Guber, an American film producer believes storytelling is action oriented and a force for turning dreams into goals and then into results. You may think that as a film producer, it’s only natural that he is a proponent of storytelling but he is also a successful executive. There lies his conviction that every business has a story, and an opportunity to gather followers by effectively articulating it.

This story can be shared through a carefully prepared elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a brief description of your service or product that anyone should be able to understand in the time it would take to ride in an elevator. But how do you create and tailor it?

1. First, the business storyteller must understand what his listeners care about, and then craft a story that enters their hearts, where their emotions live.

Emotional connections are formed when people resonate with the reason you started your business so tell them the ‘why’. Did a job loss drive you into entrepreneurship? Perhaps you turned your hobby into a business?

What are your customer’s challenges and how are you helping solve them? Share your customer’s feedback to further demonstrate that you are successful in filling those needs.

2. Turn your story from ‘me’ to ‘we’ by showing how you truly understand your customer’s problems. Did you face the same challenges?

3. Finally, your elevator pitch should end with a request, such as asking for their business card, a referral or a meeting. Balance that without sounding like a monologue and you may be surprised at the connections you create by sharing information.

Companies that tell meaningful, honest stories are discovering that their message is heard and remembered. Guber punches home this point by stating that the spirit that motivates most great storytellers is “I want you to feel what I feel,” and the effective narrative is designed to make that happen.

So grab a pen, start scribing and share your company’s ideals.

Cathy Goddard

Cathy Goddard is the Principal of Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, a consulting firm dedicated to tangible solutions for small business and individuals alike. With expertise in business and strategic planning, mentorship networks and workshop facilitation, Cathy also delivers powerful keynote presentations and writes a weekly business column for the Whistler Question newspaper.

See all posts by Cathy

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