Telling your story and engaging your audience

Find your way

“On a snowy Paris evening in 2008, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had trouble hailing a cab. So they came up with a simple idea—tap a button, get a ride.”

That winter evening in Paris was the origin of the idea and the creation of Uber. These few lines from the page tiltes “our story” on the Uber website, are an example of successful storytelling. But how, like Uber, can we build a story about you or your business?

Marshall Ganz is well known for his role in the victory of Obama during the 2008 presidential election. He was responsible for the training framework to enable Obama supporters to reach out to American voters. This strategy relied heavily on storytelling to build meaningful relationships between voters, volunteers, and organizers. For him, we “use narrative to engage the head and the heart, it both instructs and inspires – teaching us not only how we ought to act, but motivating us to act – and thus engaging the hands as well.”

Its definition shows that the art of storytelling is to build a strong and meaningful relationship with your audience, whether they are voters, or prospective clients in the case of a company. This story isn’t just the business’s origin story: it’s the story that unites the person telling it with his or her audience, through shared values and experiences.

Storyteling

So the key to storytelling is to understand that these experiences and shared values are what drive people to take action. Hence the importance of creating an emotional connection with its audience. The example of Uber reflects this form of emotional and intellectual commitment to its audience. The story of their trip to Paris relates to both the teller and the audience.

Storytelling is also a way to help people build what they want and get their point across, giving them the keys to express and share their ideas.

What story can you tell?

The subject of your story is important. To tell a good story, it is not enough to simply express yourself. You also need to find the most engaging and relevant story for your audience. You also need to find the right words, highlight the most relevant ideas that can lead to engagement. The most common subject is about the origins of project or business, explaining how it all got started. The answer to a challenge or a problem is often one of the best themes to engage an audience.

It is also possible to tell a story of your growth, when the latter turns out to be more interesting than your founding story. Other topics as a story about the industry or a story about your customers can serve as a good jumping off point.

The key is to be creative and try to express the elements of your story that best reflect the values and experiences that you share with your audience. This is why storytelling is not one set in stone narrative based on a recipe, but should be developed after trying out and measuring various hypotheses. This is an experimental and iterative process that is sometimes done by trial and error, trying different versions of his story or improving it based on the reaction of his audience. The best stories speak to both the teller and their audience. This to draw a clear link between the “story of self” and the “story of us.”

While there is no magic formula for successful storytelling, we usually find the same general narrative arch:

  • Challenges
  • Choices
  • Results

Another way to do is to follow six key points when its history is told:

  • Establish the business context
  • Introduce the story
  • Tell the story
  • Outline what you learned
  • Say what we can learn from this story
  • Make a link with the challenges / issues faced

You now have all the keys to tell your story. Feel free to reach out and chat with us about how best to formulate your story!

Remember that if you do not take the time to tell your story, someone will do it for you! And this can have damaging consequences to your image. David Fincher’s The Social Network shows the beginnings of Facebook, and is the perfect example of what to avoid.