Everyone needs to be a story teller
‘Once upon a time’ are a few of the oldest words that always catches one’s attention. Whenever we hear these words, we instantly know that a story is about to be told or retold. As humans, we are genetically wired to like and share stories. We think in plots all day long, no matter if it is about buying new clothes, or a regular day at work. We love telling stories as much as we love listening to them, that’s why, when we don’t have a story, we make one up and then find a way and a perfect medium to share it with others. There’s hardly anything more fascinating than a well told story. Stories are powerful. They amuse, enrapture, touch, educate, evoke, instigate, persuade and challenge. They help us to comprehend. They imprint a picture in our minds.
_“_Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” Roger C. Schank
Storytelling has been an integral part of humans’ lives since time immemorial. It is not only limited to art, writing or movies, but also is equally useful in other realms like business, sports, sales and technology. Brand storytelling is not a new notion. Marketing has been using this concept for ages. However, it has been modernised and called ‘Content Marketing’ in this digital age. Technology is now strengthening the effect of storytelling on the customer experience. Digital technologies–mobile, cloud, social, Internet of Things, Big Data and analytics, AI–are not only transforming every aspect of business, but also altering the whole customer experience. New technologies give people new ideas. Art and Science (or technology) are often believed to be totally separate – but this is not, and never has been, true. Art is affected by the technology of art, because artists love to experiment, and every new development is a new tool.
However, most of us are used to the usual business approach: PowerPoint presentations or Word doc. We create presentations that we ourselves wouldn’t want to sit through. That’s where storytelling comes into the picture. In an epoch of computerization, the aptitude to raft concepts into a gripping story is still one of the most significant skills for producing a successful leader. Have you ever noticed that, no matter whichever field or domain, the greatest and the most successful people had one quality in common – they were all great storytellers. What deciphers good storytellers from becoming great leaders and winners in their own domain? Well — it is their capability to see what is not there; then envision and convey this visualization to the other shareholders and thereby enthuse them. Dominant to the core of the art of storytelling is selling a dream. This is why the best sales people are often the greatest story tellers.
You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything. – Beth Comstock
Storytelling is not limited to marketers or sales people. It is equally beneficial for each and every employee of an organization, especially people who belong to technology and innovation domain. When technology meets innovation and creativity, it is quite capable of creating wonders. But you don’t create wonders for your own eyes. That’s where the power of storytelling comes into the picture. SapientNitro, through various workshops and boot camps is empowering and encouraging its employees to add an icing to the cake through the art of storytelling. Most of the times, technologists are unable to sell their products or ideas as they state facts and figures. A prospective customer might be interested in knowing the product, but to convert him into a consumer, a good story is required. You have to explain the experience that a company can give to its customers, take him through a journey, tell him the problem your tech solves and the benefits your solutions brings. And for that you must do more than just ‘sell’ your solution. You have to make it appealing, tap into emotions and tell a story that is authentic to you. People at SapientNitro are moving beyond the normal and common business practices and have started building content that is engaging and powerful, by harnessing the energy of a well-told story. When a technologist tell a story about his new innovation, how he shaped his thinking and way of working, it sparks the imagination of a listener and he feels involved in the entire process of creation rather than just an end product. A story puts facts into an emotional context. It’s a pull strategy that let people decide for themselves.
“When you begin to talk in stories, your black-and-white words turn into color. Your drab requests turn into a mission. People find you to be more compelling. And once that happens, others will see that stories work, and they’ll start telling stories, too.” Annette Simmons