How Storytelling Can Grow Your Business

People love stories. We love to hear about other people, and stories help us to learn, remember and put to use new concepts. Aesop knew this. His fables help us to learn life lessons through tales about others, without having to learn them the hard way.

In modern times, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen also understand the power of stories to teach, motivate, and inspire. Their "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books continue to sell in the millions of copies because they tap into our primal need to connect with others through storytelling.

What can stories do for you and your business? Stories can educate customers about a need they have and how you fill it, subtly demonstrate your expertise, create empathy, suggest new uses for your products, train new customers and employees, and motivate listeners to take action.

I recently observed several group presentations by an insurance agent. He knew many of the people in the audience, and prior to each presentation he would look for someone who had made a claim under their policy and ask them to tell the audience how the benefits had helped them through a difficult time. If there was no one in the audience to do it, he would tell about someone who had used the policy and what it had done for them. The stories the agent told were effective, but hearing the claimants themselves was incredibly powerful. Hearing someone talk about the uncertainty of illness, the expenses they faced which were not covered by other insurance, and what the benefits meant to them was moving. I'm sure he sold lots of policies!

Where will you get stories? Stories from your own experience can be effective, and they are unique. You may also get stories from customers, employees, friends and others. The media can be a source of stories. Stories that are familiar because they have been told through the media can establish a commonality between you and your audience, or among members of your audience. Stories unique to your experience provide a personal touch, and can be surprising because they are not known to the audience.

Another possibility is creating composite or fictional stories. This may not be acceptable in some circumstances. For example, several newspaper columnists have been fired for making up stories, or creating composite characters, and passing them off as absolute truth. However, if your primary purpose is to educate or entertain, and you are not presenting them as news, you may take some liberties with minor details of your stories or take bits and pieces from multiple stories and combine them into one composite. Remember that it is important to maintain credibility, so don't do anything that would deceive your audience.

Once you have your stories, where will you use them? Tell them when you are in one-on-one meetings, in group presentations, and when making speeches. Write them down and include them in articles, brochures, sales letters, on your web site and in other written communications. Record them on audio or video and use them in commercials. Use them when training new employees to teach them about your company and its culture. Publish them in your client or company newsletter to reinforce emotional ties.

Stories are a powerful tool which teach and motivate by making an emotional connection with your audience. Use them wisely and well.

Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas.">Get free tips, articles and more at">

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

Hampton school board hosts school safety presentation
A joint security presentation was given to a roomful of concerned parents at the Hampton Township School Board meeting March 12 at the middle school, by Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Cunningham, Hampton Township Chief Tom Vulakovich and School ...

and more »

AZ: Midwestern University Faculty to Discuss Opioid Crisis at Free Public Presentation
Midwestern University News and Events
Three faculty members from Midwestern University in Glendale will participate in a free public presentation about the ongoing opioid crisis in America and non-opioid alternatives for pain management. The presentation will take place at the Glendale ...


Another Nintendo Switch Presentation Is Airing Today
Nintendo is giving Switch owners another glimpse at some of the many intriguing titles on the way for the console soon. The company announced on Twitter that it is streaming another presentation today, this one focusing entirely on indie games coming ...
Watch Nintendo's Spring 2018 Nindies Showcase Right HereShacknews

all 201 news articles »

Prairie Fire Presentation - "The Prairie Turnip: The Next Natural Antibiotic?"
Briar Cliff University News
... initial findings were previously presented at the Iowa Academy of Science conference, and they have continued to research the turnip's ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. Though still in its early stages, their research has ...

Stanly County Board of Commissioners hears presentation on school capacity numbers
Stanly News & Press
Former Stanly County Board of Commissioners member Peter Asciutto made a presentation Monday to the current board during its regularly scheduled meeting, showing the decrease of the overall amount of students enrolled in Stanly County Schools (SCS) as ...

Port Huron Times Herald

Great Lakes kayaker to give presentation about her journey
Port Huron Times Herald
"They invited me to come back and give a presentation about my 10 months on the Great Lakes." Martin's quest, which started in Port Huron in March 2017, ended in December with winter closing in on Lake Ontario near Toronto. She had paddled 3,582 miles ...

and more »

Grand Island Independent

City Council to receive presentation on transit study
Grand Island Independent
Charley Falmlen, transit program manager for the city of Grand Island, will give a presentation to the City Council on the regional transit needs assessment and feasibility study at its meeting. Falmlen said the presentation will be similar to the one ...

Aetiology, clinical presentation and treatment of testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is a highly treatable and curable malignancy. It typically affects men aged 15-35 years and is the most common malignancy in this age group. Nurses have an important role in assisting patients to cope with the diagnosis and understand ...

March 21: Cyber Security Presentation at Senior Center
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center will hold a Cyber Security: If It's Connected, It Must be Protected Presentation on Wednesday, March 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in Rooms A1 and A2. Learn why and how things connected to the internet need to ...

and more »

Commission will open NextEra presentation to public comment
The Hutchinson News
The Reno County Commission has decided to open to questions and comments from the general public a presentation scheduled before it next Tuesday by NextEra Energy on a proposed wind farm in Reno County. “We've had a lot of emails about it, from both ...

Google News ©