Getting Your Success Story Straight

“We’re wired for stories, individually and collectively. Since the time of Odysseus We’ve been told stories. This is how we’ve been conditioned to learn; our morals and values are taught through stories.” Gay Ducey, past president, National Storytelling Network and Oracle Award recipient for Distinguished Nation Service in Storytelling

How can you use the power of stories in your business life?

Craig Harrison’s new book “Story Tell, Story Sell! Triple Your Sales through Storytelling,” soon to be released, will tell you how. To learn more about telling stories now, order Annette Simmons’ book, “The Story Factor,” which is listed on Amazon’s top 100 best business books of all time.

Craig and I both spoke to the National Speakers Association Illinois Chapter on March 20. Craig covered the power of stories and introduced the “success stories” concept. My presentation covered the world of social media – in 20 minutes. I started my presentation by telling a story, a story about how I covered the Storytelling and Marketing session at the Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference.

Telling Your Success Story

“Storytelling sets you apart from your competition by showcasing what you do best.” Craig says.

Here at CoryWest Media, we often write “case studies” or “customer profiles” or “before and after” stories for our clients. Every one starts with situation, approach and solution. Craig frames his process a bit differently.

Setting: describe time and place in a sentence or two

Situation: talk about the pain points – what needed to be fixed

Solution: reveal the answer and the results

I especially like the setting as a foundation reference point. Before his presentation, Craig worked with two people to help them develop their success stories. They were both sitting right next to me. When we got to the exercise part, I had expert partners providing feedback at my side.

Storytelling for Business

Probably my biggest “ah-ha” was that all of our client’s success stories have common threads. My partner told me she like these: an accelerated marketing plan, a system, “Hollywood casting” and the seven steps in our marketing transformations process. Key phrases that popped out of her story: the secret is in the systems, from reactive to proactive and from locally powerful to globally influential. As you tell your story, these phrases will pop out.

Craig suggests you write out your success story, read it out loud and practice telling it so that you tell yours in a minute or less. Need more guidance? Check out Craig Harrison’s articles on storytelling.

What’s your success story? Past/proven, present/in progress and future/inspiration and motivation tense all work.

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