The Power of Story Telling in the Business World

By: Grace Hoffmann

If two applications are completely the same, who gets the job after the interview? When an employee brings up their idea, how do they convince others it will work? How do you describe your personal brand to others? Knowing how to tell a good story can help your career and even advance it!

When someone talks about storytelling, they normally recall fairy tales and made-up stories that they heard before going to bed as a child. While these may be true, storytelling is much more involved than that. Did you ever think about why you were so interested in the story you were hearing? What was the storyteller saying that intrigued you?

Storytelling is a skill that will set two candidates apart.

In an article by US News, it discusses how the secret to a successful interview is great storytelling! The article discusses how “the art of storytelling can be applied to interviews as a strategy for making your case clear and impactful.” This can be done by crafting your story — why you are the best person for the position– around who your audience will be and what is meaningful to him/her. Storytelling should tug at emotions, and leave a positive impact. Storytelling makes you memorable.

Storytelling will help your career

In an article found on CNN, it discusses the book, “Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story” by Peter Guber. The author discusses how important storytelling is for someone trying to advance their career:

“Whether you want to motivate your executives, organize your shareholders, shape your media, engage your customers, win over investors or land a job, you have to deliver a clarion call that will get your listeners’ attention, emotionalize your goal as theirs, and move them to act in your favor. You have to reach their hearts as well as their minds — and this is just what storytelling does.”

Guber notes 12 tips in his book  in order to tell a purposeful story–

TIPS for good storytelling:

  1. Data dumps are not stories — dump them, don’t tell them!
  2. A purposeful story is a call to action — be sure to make your call.
  3. Successful stories turn “me” to “we” — align your interests.
  4. Be sure your story tells what’s in it for them.
  5. Be interested in what interests your listeners and they’ll find your story interesting and your goal compelling.
  6. Remember, the context in which you tell your story colors the story you tell.
  7. Your first hand or witnessed experiences are the best raw material for your story.
  8. Employ the element of surprise.
  9. Craft the beginning to shine the light on your challenge or problem.
  10. Shape the middle around the struggles, then meet the challenge.
  11. End with a resolution that ignites in the listener your call to action.
  12. To tell a great story, make preparation your partner.

Storytelling is extremely useful in the business world! Know your story’s purpose and be excited about what you have to say! Storytelling can transform an interview, project, or even when discussing your personal brand.

Resources:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/06/29/career.storytelling.cb/index.html

https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/why-storytelling-is-a-musthave-career-skill

https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/how-to-tell-your-career-stories

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/beth-kuhel/looking-to-advance-your-c_b_6639462.html

https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/04/17/the-secret-to-a-successful-interview-great-storytelling

http://www.careercontessa.com/advice/storytelling-job-search-personal-pitch/