It was during a media and interview training for an executive of an IT business software company. In the middle of the session, when I trained with him „storytelling as a way to simplify the complex and make it relevant“, he said, this would be a perfect training for his consulting and sales team – for two fundamental reasons: First, thinking about stories around your product or service opens your eyes for new application areas, the key issues from different angles and roles as well as ideas for further product enhancements.
Second, having a variety of storytelling approaches instead of using a standard plot – proven to work more or less in most situations – and enumerate product or service features transforms the way you speak and navigate a conversation: It makes you more inspiring, more emphatic and offers more potential starting points for a vital discussion with a lasting impression.
The art of storytelling is not only to create a story but also the art of collecting angles for good ones.
This leads us to a general need for change: Storytelling is an art, which should not be isolated in marketing or PR. It rather has to be a developed across departments with collaborative processes. Why? Sales people and consultants get a lot of input from customers, product development have a good view on market needs, marketing knows what works in client and prospect communication and PR gets important feedback from journalists what kind of stories are hot and generate attention. All together there is a lot of story angles buzzing around a company. You just have to pick it up and connect them.
The art of storytelling is therefore not only to create a story but also the art of collecting angles for good ones. If you master this cross-departmental, you get a continuous flow of stories, which keep you relevant and inspiring for customers, partners, stakeholders and journalists. And, just as important, cross-departmental collaboration ensure the quality of storytelling.
To optimize storytelling depends a lot on a company’s business, structure and communication culture. But one secret is: Do not establish complex processes to collect story angles. Just ask the right people the right questions and within five to ten minutes you often get a surprising amount of input. Another secret is: Refine your sense to adapt a good story in wording and focus appropriately for different target groups and media channels.
Interested in an analysis of your stories? Want to enhance your storytelling capabilities?
Then contact us for more information about our services and consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Gisela Knabl
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