Once upon a business story

Rose: What a great story.

Pierre: That was a classic.

Rose: Is there a way we can take the magic of storytelling in film and apply it to business?

Pierre: Let’s compare the ingredients of traditional storytelling and business storytelling.

Rose: Let’s roll.

Rose: We’re gonna take the five key ingredients of traditional storytelling, like in film, and apply it to business. We have: the setting, characters, conflict, resolution, and plot. Pierre, how do we apply that to business?

Pierre: Well, the characters are the key subject of your presentation. They can be your employees, your clients, your products, your revenue. They can even be your competitors. Now, what about the setting?

Rose: That’s your business context. How are the numbers doing? What’s happening in your industry? And what about the conflict?

Pierre: The conflict is actually the need or problem that you need to solve in your presentation. If you have a conflict you have…

Rose: … a resolution or a solution. So what are you offering your key subjects, your clients, your listeners?

Rose: How do we tie all these four ingredients together?

Pierre: Well, the plot is the narrative you use to structure the key messages of your presentation. You should always have an introduction, development, and conclusion.

Rose: Pierre, let’s apply this to an example. So I have a fact: a client of ours just earned 1 billion in revenue last year.

Pierre: Okay. We have the key subject. Now we need the context of the presentation.

Rose: Last year business was terrible. Competitors numbers were flat.

Pierre: And what about the problem that you wanted to solve?

Rose: Well, they were not profitable; they were losing money.

Pierre: And how did you solve it?

Rose: They created a new product which raised sales by 10 percent.

Pierre: And now let’s wrap this up in a whole narrative.

Rose: last year the industry was terrible. We were losing money. So we created a new product which allowed us to raise sales by 10 percent and we hit our goal of 1 billion in revenue.

Pierre: Great story.

Rose: So now we know how to apply these five ingredients to business. Pierre, can we apply everything in traditional storytelling to business story?

Pierre: There is one key difference. In business storytelling you can tell anecdotes, you can tell metaphors, but the key messages should always be based on facts. This is something which is very important and that we will cover in another episode.

Rose: Excellent. So let’s recap.

Key Take Aways

  1. Use all five ingredients to tell a business story.
  2. The ingredients are: subject, context, need or problem, solution, and conclusion.
  3. Business stories are always based on fact.

Pierre: Thank you. There is a lot more to learn about storytelling. So follow us on YouTube and LinkedIn.

Rose: Thank you for joining the Business Presentation Revolution. We’ll see you next time. Cut!