So you know that storytelling is one of your most powerful tools as a business person and entrepreneur, and that your story is one of your most valuable business assets. But how do you actually tell a story so people will listen…? Well, that’s what storytelling formulas are for, and the simple four-step storytelling framework I share in this episode is how every classic story you’ve ever heard, is told. And once you know it, you can rinse and repeat it to your audience’s delight, over and over again.
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So you’ve got a story to tell – one that’s going to hook your ideal client and customer’s attention and get them sticking to you like Velcro. The problem is, you could have the greatest story in the world, but if you tell it badly, it’s always going to be snoozeville. Your story doesn’t have to be glamorous, it doesn’t have to be dramatic, it just has to be told well.
But the truth is,
It’s not what you say but how you tell ‘em.
The good news is, you don’t have to be Tolkein or JK Rowling to tell a great story. In fact, all you need is to understand which parts to share and which parts to leave out plus understand exactly how to put a story together in a way that keeps them hooked and listening to the very end. And that’s exactly what this handy little four-step storytelling framework, I’m about to share with you, does.
So how do you tell a great story. Yep, I’ve already said it, you follow a formula and you can rinse and repeat it over and over again.
So here’s a very basic outline of how every great story flows.
Step 1 Context So when you tell your story the first thing your reader wants to know is WHEN the story took place and WHERE.
For example Once upon a time in a land far, far away.
A couple of years ago I was in a big department store choosing christmas gifts for my kids…
Next up, every great story has a series of events
Step 2: A series of events: So basically tell them what happened.
I was standing in a crowded lift one shoulder squashed against a wall, the other crushed up against some random guy with an empty baby carrier on his back. But because I hate crowded places, and also back in those days had a mild phone addiction, I spent the whole of very long, stop, start journey with my eyes glue to my email.When my floor came the guy with the empty baby carrier on his back, who I’d rather begrudgingly spent the last ten minutes up close and personal with, stepped out the doors ahead of me and stopped – and because I was still so engrossed in my email….you guessed it.
I walked smack into his back.
Step 3 A Twist Give them a surprise, a revelation, or pivotal moment that changes everything.
I tutted. He turned around. “Oh, I’m sorry” said TOM HARDY.
Oh celebrity crush of my lifetime. Who I’d just spent the last ten minutes passive aggressively tutting at every time his baby carrier accidentally knocked my texting hand.
Step 4> The Ending – Tell them the outcome, give them a lesson (and in your case, a CTA!)
And off Tom Hardy walked into the distance (or crowded toy department) leaving me to realise, that if we just look up and pay attention, 99.9% much more interesting things are happening around us than on our phones.
True story, that.
So there you have it. Four steps every great story follows.
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