Storytelling seems so innate to our species that you’d imagine that we should all be great storytellers. But when you think about it, it’s simply not true – there are plenty of people who struggle to hold an audience from start to finish, even when they have important things to say.
When you find yourself eager to follow a story all the way, it means the storyteller has a special talent. And while plenty of people are born with that yarn-spinning gift, a whole bunch more have got there the hard way – by learning how to think up, structure, and deliver an irresistible narrative.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll have long since recognized the importance of stories as a way of drawing in potential clients and customers, inspiring their most profound emotions and constructing a narrative that involves them improving their life with your product or service. But maybe the idea of polishing up your storytelling skills has seemed too abstract to ever follow through.
Big mistake! The fact that storytelling is so natural to us as a species means that those who struggle to tell a tale need only take a look at the fundamental principles of story structure to begin uncovering the dormant storyteller within.
There are many schools of thought on just what those principles are, but one guy who has really made them accessible for the regular businessperson is Christopher Booker, with his theory of The Seven Basic Plots – the different types of stories on which to pin your ideas.
For example, next time you give a presentation regarding a problem to which your business offers the solution, you might want to borrow the ‘Overcoming A Monster’ story frame. We see it in the movies all the time. The hero learns about the monster (the problem), trains for battle (your client’s attempts to deal with the issue), loses an initial encounter, and finally tries a different approach (your product) and defeats the big baddie.
It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs put the solution ahead of the problem – and fail to engage the listener.
And it’s not just big bad monsters; there’s a story structure for every category of presentation you might need to make. This guide from QuidCorner makes it easy to conquer each type, so you’ll have the best storytelling strategies at your fingertips next time you’ve got something important to say and you want it to be heard.
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