Business Storytelling in 7 Steps

We were asked recently to explain the process we use to develop great brand stories so rather than describe it using lots of words, we drew it out. We brought the 7 step process to life with a quick hand drawing and then explained, using examples.

The actual drawing is attached here.Hoot Story Process Drawing

Step One: Define what a story is – a story is not a case study or a list of what you did with a client. A story is far more emotional, based on the experience and the dilemma faced. The best stories will be told by your customers so ask them what story they tell.

Step Two: What does the story tell us – stories explain actual real life events and help us evidence examples of your brand personality and the experience and feelings your company will leave with a customer.

Step Three: Who is the audience – not every story is relevant to us all but if it touches the heart of the masses then it will be passed on to those you intend to reach. For example Samsung developed a new product for hearing impaired people and told the world about it by working with a local community in Istanbul to give one hearing impaired man a day without barriers – Samsung taught the people in his community how to sign so that they could communicate with him.

It’s an incredibly emotional story that we all passed on. The story reached the hearts of everyone, hearing impaired and normally hearing people alike, and we felt compelled to share it with friends and family. Eventually someone will share it with a hearing impaired friend. It’s more likely to reach the right target audience because we as a community have been touched emotionally.

Step Four: Gather examples – have a pin board or notice board up that collects stories from inside and outside the organisation. Title the board ‘Remember when…’ and get everyone involved.

Step Five:  Shape the narrative with a storyboard – a storyboard will help you organise your story with the right messages. It structures a beginning, middle and end and helps you to control the flow of the story keeping it to the point. A storyboard will help others to visualise the story too, so if there are a number of you using your business stories then this will help structure how it’s told.

Step Six: Rehearse – like comedy the best stories are told with good timing and business storytelling is no different. They make relevant points, keep a listener engaged and leave us wanting to share it with our own audiences. The best way to ensure you tell great stories is to practice.

Step Seven: Release it to the world – we all have an opportunity to be a publisher with access to websites, blogs, social media such as LinkedIn, video on You Tube and Vimeo, podcasts and so on. We all love stories and are likely to pass the good ones on so don’t be afraid to release yours to the world and let your audience tell it for you.

If you’d like to develop your own brand stories read our ‘Create Your Story’ guide or feel free to get in touch with us at Hoot… we’d be happy to draw you a picture too.