Corporate Storytelling is not Stage Storytelling

When you’re listening to a speaker tell a story, if the speaker is a good storyteller, it will connect with you and you will be inspired. The connection happens because through the speaker’s story, resonance is created and you feel seen, heard and valued. Even if the story is about the speaker or someone else, you are able to find yourself in it. 

For a storyteller on the stage  

Connection Who is: Audience who have come to listen to the talk 

Connection Why is: Inspire; to make someone feel that they want to do something and can do it.

Connection How is: Through a story in which they can see themselves 

However, If you are my manager listening to me in the boardroom presenting a strategy you are most likely not listening to me to be inspired, the key to connection in the boardroom is influence, which can eventually lead to desired action. The way I will make my manager listen to me is by understanding what she is trying to drive and tell the story in line with that. That is how my manager will feel seen, heard and valued. For example, my manager is being pressured by senior stakeholders to bring in a certain amount of revenue in the following quarter. It is important that I tell a story that will help my manager achieve that.

If you are listening to me as a shopkeeper and I am trying to sell you a dress, you need to be influenced to make a purchasing decision in the right direction but you are not hoping that I will inspire you to buy the dress. You see that is the difference, on stage we inspire in the boardroom or shop floor we mostly influence 

For a storyteller in boardroom 

Connection Who is: Bosses, peers, customers, investors, clients etc 

Connection Why is: Influence; to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks. 

Connection How is: Through a story which helps my audience achieve their desired outcomes.  

If connection is what we seek, then storytelling is the best way to create that connection.

But understanding the who, why and how of the connection determines if storytelling will work or not. Storytelling connects only if you are laser focussed on who, why and how  you are trying to connect. 

A story that works on the stage doesn’t work in the boardroom

A story that works in the boardroom doesn’t work in a team meeting

A story that works in a team meeting doesn’t work in one to one team conversations. 

A story that works in one to one team conversations doesn’t work in sales one to one conversations…. 

While all stories move people to take action, how they move and how they are told are different. To make sure your story drives the right outcome, you have to learn the

who , why and how of connection. Next time you are ready to tell a story, put it through

Connection Who is 
Connection Why is
Connection How is

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