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Sunday, September 28, 2014

The power of story telling

As children growing up, we all were bedazzled by remarkable stories that spanned from Disney all the way to the big screen dramas. Stories entice us all. They fill us with imagination and excitement. So when deciding to start your own business and promote your brand, the art of  story telling has become an intangible and necessary tool for networking, pitching, and spreading your vision.

I’m sure every entrepreneur has heard of the story behind Facebook’s success from its movie the social network. Or all the successful kickstarter campaigns with their stories. Such as how oculus started its campaign on kickstarter and 2 years later was sold to Facebook for $2 billion dollars.

It is no secret that stories impact the minds of listeners, but it has become quite common for start-ups to forget this critical part of their business model; Your story.

Being a great story teller is a skill anyone can learn. And is a skill that has been undervalued by many founders and entrepreneurs.

Founders who have business models that are innovative or downright hard to understand, will find story telling beneficial. It will make it simple for you to get across the most important parts of your model to that big investor you hope to hook, or that prospect you hope to recruit long-term.

Your stories forces listeners to open their minds to new options.

Those who you intend to pitch too are ultimately only interested in the value of your company and what the numbers say, but having a compelling story will hold their attention firm. Once you grab the attention of your audience then your chances of success is more likely to increase.

A few tips to becoming a great story teller

1.  Practice, Practice, and did I mention practice. Develop your story by incorporating all parts of your business model. Make sure your story is always the same and never deviates from the truth.  Your story must have compelling facts that the listeners can understand. Just as you take the time to practice to get better at your skills, you must practice daily of your story until you can say it within a few seconds. It is like your elevator pitch, but more personable.

2. Always incorporate how you will create value for your customers, and how you will make money from doing this?
Here’s a secret that most investors won’t tell you, listen up. Put your reading glasses on they all want to know how you create value and make money. Oh that’s right, it’s NOT A SECRET. So don’t forget to add this critical step to your story

3. Be crystal clear. Be clear about your objectives. If you want to create a start-up or already haves started your own business, then you must critically understand the concept of due diligence. You do not want to add parts of your story that is not true or hide unfavorably things that will come back to haunt you. Because in the world of lawyers and regulations, your secrets will have nowhere to hide.

 4. Use visuals when you can.   The business model generation  speaks about 4 techniques that you should also invest your time into using.
       Talk + image simply talking while showing images.
       A video clip  don't be afraid to show a clip of your product or service.
       Role play  role play with your audience.
       Text + image use PowerPoint decks or any other visual with text.
       Comic strips  create a comic strip that you can circulate detailing your story.

5. Be genuine.   In the world of business and start-ups, it is common to find “yes men” who will say what they must to grab your attention. It is quite a refreshment when speaking to entrepreneurs and investors who genuinely care and take the time to engage with you, so do not go to them with some bullshi*t story and waste their time. Your company and personal reputation is on the line.

So go out there and practice your story by incorporating these few simple tips, and you will have a greater chance of connecting with your audience.

Submit your company's stories to thefittestblog@gmail.com to be featured in upcoming updates

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