By Jack Slayton
When I was little, I used to love going to bed.
Certainly not because I wanted to actually sleep, but because every night my dad would come to tuck me in and tell me a bedtime story. He was a great storyteller who filled my imagination with all sorts of adventures, some that were true, and some that I would always wish would come true.
What he did with me is now something that is an exceptional tool in the business and public speaking world. No, people are not babysitting their clients and telling them of how they went to a land filled with candy and ice cream, but instead are using personal stories to help boost their influence and create a better selling point for their clients.
The Psychology of Storytelling
Let’s get into why humans love such a good story. Humans have always loved storytelling and “authentic human experiences,” in other words, real events that have happened to people and have been that way since we fought dinosaurs and ran around with spears.
Watching videos and looking at data all day can bore our brains, whereas stories stimulate the mind by stimulating our imagination. Uncommon Marketing’s podcast series on storytelling is a great listen and goes in-depth more about storytelling and the human nature behind it.
Taking Business Personal
I think the next logical step is to put what was learned into practice. Imagine you are presenting to a board of clients who you are trying desperately to convince to buy your amazing product. Yes, the numbers are important, clients need to see how much you have sold and how reliable your product is, but they seem pretty bored.
Then, you tell a funny story about how you used your product to get your keys out of your car that you smartly locked inside. The clients’ faces change and break into a smile, some even chuckling as you sacrifice your pride to tell them your silly mistake. Whether you ended up selling or not, you have made a bigger impact on your pitch than you think.
There is actually a plethora of research that goes into telling a story for clients, with many people and businesses trying to master this art. Businesses all around the world train their workers to use stories in a compelling and real way to be able to be more successful. Here are five helpful ways that can help you gain some confidence and skill in this area.
Storytelling for the New Generation
Here’s the thing about storytelling with my generation, Generation Z, which is now entering the business world. We have shorter attention spans than goldfish (which is actually true), and we are constantly surrounded by media that tell us stories all the time. So, how do you get your story to stick out from all the other noise and appeal to the new age of businesses?
Taking from what was learned above and my personal experiences with this, it is extremely important to get personal and to entertain.
Some ways that this could be applied in the business world is by using popping pictures and loud words to keep attention spans longer, as well as using personal experiences and emotion to be able to have open and honest discussions with clients. I recommend taking a look at these five different ways to engage Generation Z that I was able to find that could be helpful when engaging with your younger clients.
Really, storytelling is something that is only going to keep having prominence and importance not only in the business world but also life in general, and this is something that I recommend everyone becomes skilled at.