5 key facts about structuring an effective business history
A story with a business impact can be as short as a sentence, a three-minute speech, or a thirty-minute product demonstration. But anyway, it should have a:
Here are five story structure facts that will help you develop short and brilliant endless stories for business.
1. The beginning of your story is about your audience and what will capture their Warning.
The way investment research firm Morningstar tells the story of its founder is a case in point. Rather than starting with the very start, they take a different approach.
“In 1984, Joe Mansueto quit his job as a stock analyst, inspired by an idea.”
Since the task is to tell the story of the company, this introduction starts in exactly the right place. It starts with the creation of the business (not all that led to the founding – like what Mansueto learned from his father and grandfather, or his first entrepreneurial ventures with crickets and Christmas trees).
Do you feel located? I do. I can see Mansueto quit his job as a stock analyst and start something new.
Of course, other occasions may require different starting points. If we want to situate the public, we must analyze what they know and what they don’t know.
Finally, did you feel addicted? For my part, I want to know what this idea was. I want to read the following sentence. And I already have the feeling that the next sentence is going to give me something else that will grab hold of me so that I keep reading.
2. Learning the main parts of a story allows you to tap into the science of storytelling.
There is a science to telling stories. Good storytellers transport their audience, making them feel what the characters are feeling.
In order for the audience to relate to the characters in this way, there has to be “some kind of stressor, some kind of arousal response in the brain,” says Paul Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont. Graduate University. To save the intense resources that this neurological arousal response demands of us, our brains will “only pay attention to something when it matters,” Zak Explain in The Atlantic.
Zak says the stories that hook us the most are stories in which the tension gradually increases as the hero faces a stressful challenge that demands the full attention of the audience.
This means that when you grab the audience’s attention with an intriguing start, and then increase the tension through a fascinating medium, you absorb the audience into the conflict of the story and increase the bond they feel for the characters.
3. A good story structure can quickly create an effective story.
Sometimes you don’t have months or weeks to put together a story. But if you know the basic structure, it’s a lot easier to put together a story, even if you have to do it at the last minute.
Tell your story in the logical order of the beginning, the middle and the end. But you don’t have to write it’s like that ! It is often much easier to start at the beginning, to write the end then come back to the middle. Once you’ve written the ending, you’ll be clear on what you want audiences to take away from the story. And once you have that in mind, it’s easier to figure out how to get audiences from point A, at the start of your story, to point C, the take-home point.
4. If you’re rambling instead of telling a cohesive story, set your theme. Structure the story according to the theme.
Once your story has a clear theme, all of a sudden it’s much easier to put the different structural elements together for Support this theme. Plus, it’s much easier for your audience to remember the story. It makes a strong impression on them.
At The Points Podcast, host Kathleen Buczko asked me, “What do you think is preventing people from clearly articulating a good story about themselves?
I told him over and over again what I saw: “They don’t really know what their story is about. There is no common thread or clear backbone in their story, so they digress.
How do you find the right theme for your story? Here are some common business history themes:
- Understand the strengths of colleagues
- Change one’s mind
- Redefine your goals
- Finding work-life balance
- Understanding the stakeholders
- Values under pressure
- Empower problem solvers in your organization
- Overcome adversity
Note that chronology is never a theme. Go beyond storytelling! Say what events mean.
5. Don’t forget the take out.
Here’s what sets business storytelling apart from classic storytelling. Business storytelling has a clearly stated point. Classic stories are enriched with interpretations on many levels, but in business storytelling there should be no doubt in the minds of listeners as to what to do in response to your story.
Too often, business and non-profit executives forget to apply! I’ve seen major gift agents tell an inspiring, well-crafted story at a gala, then walk away from the podium without telling the audience exactly how they can help. It doesn’t matter if you’ve moved the audience to tears unless they know how they can tell a difference.
When it comes to business stories, don’t just fly off and ramble. Know the structure that will be easiest for your audience to follow. And then they will not only follow the story, they will follow you as a leader.