“A long time ago” and “Once upon a time” are phrases most of us are familiar with from books we read in our youth.
Even at school, stories were told to describe cultures, traditions and beliefs. I still remember a story in 4th grade where I teacher shared how an African tribe explained some Americans roasting hot dogs on a campfire. They referred to them as “roasting human fingers on long sticks.”
Yuck was the thought that came to my 4th grade mind, but I also realized how we all had different understandings based upon our life experiences. And, I still remember that particular story over 30 years later.
Storytelling, believe it or not, is becoming even more important today. In a world of extreme technical advances and information overload, a simple story can convey more meaning and value than a data dump.
How can you use stories in your business? Here are a few ideas and we would love to hear yours!
- Photography – quite a few photographers have figured out that people want to experience just a little more than the picture. So, they start a blog and share a few thoughts from each photo shoot along with a few snapshots. It not only displays their talent, but you get a little insight into the family or how the photographer discovered a new place to take clients, etc.
- Training and Development – adult learning theories and stringent development processes are starting to break way to simplified content and content in smaller manageable chunks for audiences with short attention spans (all of us). Instead of sharing just well organized content, it is important to give context and meaning to the information being shared. Why not turn the content into a story that contains the same information?
- Authors – the most obvious of all, writers need to have a compelling story along with an effective narrative style.
- Foodies – why not share the event where the recipe was first served, create a cookbook bringing in the stories around the recipes, etc. Don’t we all have a memory of when we hated a food and then tried it and loved it? Or, food that we will forever dislike because of a particular experience?
- Recruiting – who doesn’t like to find out about company culture, unique quirks about the CEO, or types of charities/causes a company supports.
These are just a few examples! Anyone can use stories to show their customers how their product/services can help them.
Here’s a great little example that is being used over and over and over again (the “Meet Joe” and the “Meet Jane” approach) because it is effective, can be created in Microsoft PowerPoint and easily distributed on the web or on paper.
Don’t you want to use healthmagic now that they’ve shown you how they can help you?