4 Ways to Improve Your Storytelling

Connecting with your target audience is tough, even under the best of circumstances. Connect face-to-face, you can see your listener’s reactions. Connect virtually … it’s a crapshoot. They might be listening … or they might be playing digital Solitaire.  No matter how you’re communicating, the best way to keep your target audience engaged is by telling powerful stories. 

Here are four ways to improve them. 

Set the Scene … Hint: It’s Not About You

It seems intuitive; your story should feature your products and services … right? Yes … but not initially. Start with current industry challenges, powerful market forces, and specific client needs. Set the scene … a challenging scene your listeners will find all too familiar. Done correctly, they’ll cast themselves as a character in your story. 

Get Personal

Include emotions … the powerful emotions that drive the characters in your story. Your listeners are most likely experiencing them right now.  They know that if they don’t solve their problems, they’ll lose more than business; they’ll lose market share; they’ll lose valued employees; they’ll lose their jobs; and ultimately, the company could close its doors. By recognizing and validating these emotions, your listeners will remain engaged to see how your story–now their story–turns out.

Enter … Your Solutions 

Now that your listeners are intellectually and emotionally hooked, it’s solution time. But remember, the biggest reason the characters in your story succeeded was not your products or services … they succeeded because they were able to change their minds.  Change is hard, especially when you need to admit that what you were doing before wasn’t working.  Frame your products and services as natural outgrowths of this new mindset. Provide data and real-world results. These relevant details add credibility and weight to your story, and help listeners feel comfortable with changing their minds. 


Last, but certainly not least, look to the future … but be realistic. Don’t describe a happily-ever-after.  Detail potential new challenges they may face along the way, but also include how your products and services are prepared to solve these as well. This gives your listeners hope, which any behavioral psychologist will tell you is the most important human emotion.


Your solutions are not the star of your stories … your customers and prospects are … your products and services are merely the supporting players that help the stars succeed.