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Avoiding suffocation by storytelling

There was a day when “death by PowerPoint” was the worst scenario facing business audiences. However, today there is a new danger… suffocation by storytelling!

As businesses have awoken to the power of storytelling, customers are now faced with a tsunami of content. The problem is not all of it is useful, helpful or relevant.

As communication evolves it’s about time we evaluate how effectively we actually communicate.

Many companies, such as those in retail and professional services, embrace storytelling as a means to achieve differentiation and market leadership. After all, it’s an effective brand building tool.

But research has found that global executives can feel confused and overwhelmed by the volume of content they encounter, with 56% of executives believing intrusiveness has increased.

However within the next 12 months 80% of communicators and marketers plan to increase output of thought leadership storytelling knowing that only 24% will be engaged with¹.

The reason this content misses the mark stems from companies’ haste to leap on to the next big thing in B2B and B2C engagement.

To avoid overpowering your audience and ensure your story stands out from the crowd, there are some simple tips to keep in mind.

1. You must build your story around your brand, not about your brand. Your story has the potential to help your business grow so enlighten your audience to how you have succeeded and got to where you are today.

2. Your story should make you stand out in your industry, not blend into the overwhelming number of generic brand stories on the market. To achieve this, you have to be passionate about what you do and how your services clearly made a difference to you. Focus on being personable and relatable. Many people may have gone through similar experiences but it’s how you come out of them that makes the difference.

3. You must own your language and communicate your passion through the words and structure. With passion comes persuasiveness, enthusiasm, commitment and credibility.

4. Tell stories with an emotional pull. When you tell stories that have shaped our thinking and guided our way of life, it has a much more powerful impact on the audience.

¹ The Economist Group/tldisrupted.com