The Lost Art of Storytelling in Business


Storytelling is critically important for leaders.
Because, first and foremost, leaders are in the business of selling.
We are selling a vision, a project, a dream, a place, a need. We are selling a better and brighter future.

Storytelling is a timeless human tradition. Storytelling is what shapes cultures.
Our brain likes to hear stories and it listens to it because it’s wired that way.
Stories aren’t threatening to our ego and therefore bypass the filters our ego has in place. We are literally programmed for communicating through and learning from stories.

Unfortunately, storytelling has become a lost art. This is especially true in business because failed attempts to effectively present information to potential investors, customers, and partners can quickly result in the end of the business. Instead of taking the time to craft captivating stories, most entrepreneurs create boring presentations filled with facts, jargon, buzzwords, and graphs.

We have all seen them, haven’t we? Powerpoint (and laziness) has killed our ability to tell good stories, but this is a habit we need to kill as quick as possible.Why? Here are 3 reasons to master the Art of Storytelling.

1. Stories are easily remembered.

When facts and information are framed by a compelling story, you’ll not only hold the attention of your audience, but you’ll also make the information presented more memorable. Like I said before, our brains are wired to do so. Many entrepreneurs are so enthusiastic that they assume their audience is just as interested. They go on and on about facts without first making an effort to pull in their audience. No matter how compelling your facts are, if your audience isn’t invested in what you’re saying, all the information will be lost on them and you will have wasted your time.

2. Stories Travel.

Because stories are so memorable, they’re easy for listeners to recount in the future. So, if you give your audience a good story, they’ll be able to communicate the details of your business more clearly. Potential investors and Customers will need to recount the information you shared with them to their partners and colleagues, so it’s crucial that the information you share is retold accurately. If you fail to do so they won’t be able to do you this favor.

3. Good Story = Action.

A big part of your job is to move people to act. You have to court investors, employees, and even customers. Focusing on specifications of what you do will be lost on most of your audiences, while a compelling story about what you do will make something better will help attract and motivate people.

It may be easier to put together a powerpoint presentation than craft up an exciting narrative, but as any good storyteller will tell you, a little extra time and brainpower is definitely worth the time. A good story will help set your company apart. So if you want you business to live happily ever after, make storytelling a tradition at your company.

A great book on this subject, if you want to master Storytelling, is “What Great Sales People Do” by Michael Bosworth.