How to apply Storytelling

Humanizing businesses

Thinkers Co Blog- How to apply Storytelling

Communicate ideas through stories

“[…] The importance of the details. The details sell the story. You have to know all the details of that place, know if there are toilet paper or air hand dryer. You have to know if the toilets have doors or not, you have to know if the soap is liquid or that pink powder used in the high-school, remember that? You have to know if there is hot water or not, if it stinks. You have to know all the possible details about the matter. So what you have to do is take all these details and make them yours, and while you are doing that, remember you are in that story.[…] Transcript narrated by “Mr. Orange” from the film Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992).

Telling stories is nothing new, this exists since people are people. The human being has always told stories trying to transmit their experiences to a third party. That’s what it is for: to communicate. It is not a marketing tale or a career specialty it is about telling facts putting our listener in a situation, giving him an idea of what is happening. Our ability to execute the narrative will touch our listener or make him switched off.

How do you get people to connect with your idea?

You must not tell them about data, characteristics or shapes. You have to tie things together. Compose a story where your listener sees himself, a place where he can mentally visualize what you are trying to tell him. Only then, he will understand what you are talking about, and will be easier for him to judge it. And that way, little by little, this old way of communicating is forcefully entering into business.

Since the 90s, the art of storytelling is imposing its vision on communication, since it is a way in which many listeners see themselves reflected, and it starts from the everyday, the known. For example, politicians and large corporations have taken advantage of this technique. Why? Because it humanizes them. The Storytelling tool is a clear way to catch the emotional side of your user. What is its value? Empathize. People are more predisposed when we speak in their language, they feel closer.

Compose a story where your listener sees himself, a place where he can mentally visualize what you are trying to tell him.

How to explain a new business, product, or service?

Depending on your listener, your story will be different. If the person is your client, you have to tell him a real story about how this product or service will improve his life, in that way you will connect with him.On the other hand, if your story is aimed at a company, storytelling will be useful to visualize the customers with the services or products and to know if these are fulfilling a need. In this way, they can see if they are doing something wrong or something that can be improved.

Storytelling is also a tool to visualize how people act and to identify in which points you can offer your help. This help becomes your value proposition, and a value proposition is a business. Creating value is what matters. Having an idea and not knowing how it will improve people’s lives is not a good thing. But if you put customers at the center of your story and make them feel like they were in that scenario, visualized using the idea and taking benefits from it, you will have gained a lot.

The industrial revolution signified dehumanization, standardization, and mechanical thinking. However, we have reached an unimaginable technological point and, now we thought the machines were going to give us the solution, we come back to telling stories. Why? because innovation no longer focuses on the most optimal technology, the cheapest product, or the most disruptive business model. Everything begins with a story, and our part is: do you know your client?, could you tell me how his daily story is?, in that story, do you see any point where we can help him, that is, improve his story?

Prototype stories through Design Thinking

In Design Thinking, tools are used to make these stories more visual, either through a comic, Lego© scenarios or drawings in Post-it©. Why these? Because they are the quickest when prototyping a story, but there are many more! For example, making a film or a performance. The important thing is to know how to communicate this story, only then you will have real feedback from your customer. It matters to know how to empathize with your customer, you must know his story, but above all, the details. If you know those details: why is they are acting like that, how they feel when doing something, among others… That’s the moment where you can help them, while you find business.

Updated at 04/02/2021

More Blogs