B is for business and the basic set of stories that transform your personal story elements into ones relevant to your audience of clients, colleagues or community.
If you’ve built your story as suggested in “A is for Accept” then you’ll now have a collection of experiences, accomplishments and lessons to help you take the next step.
You can now intentionally create the perception that leads to a positive result. Select and craft the stories that you should have at the ready in your business storytelling tool kit!
While there’s a giant matrix of stories you can tell to sell, influence, educate or motivate your listeners/readers to action, let’s start with what many consider a gold standard. These are the six basic story types proposed by Annette Simmons, a noted authority on storytelling in business circumstances.
1. Who I am stories
Is there a time, place or event that provides evidence of the qualities that earn you the right to stand and influence at this moment? Allow others to know you in order to trust you.
2. Why I am here stories
If you are asking others to spend time, money and resources, they will assume your presentation is biased. Your message goes further if you share what it’s really all about for you. What do you care about? Oh, it is about the money, then own that.
3. Teaching stories
You’ve heard of ‘show, don’t tell?” Your story of a lesson learned and reward gained is more effective than advice told.
4. Vision stories
Infuse hope and motivation with stories to reframe today’s difficulties as ‘worth it’ to overcome barriers or frustrations
5. Values in action stories
Get real and specific because values are so personal to each individual. Share your values as a demonstration, as a behaviour in action.
6. I know what you are thinking stories
Overcome objections, and ensure the human desire for safety with a story that validates and then dispels concerns, in the mind of your listener, without being defensive.
Find your examples for 1-2-3 and see what happens when your ink flows!
Stay tuned for the next in this series: C is for communication – on the structure of a story and how to prepare to share it