5 Ways to Improve Your Storytelling Skills

Much has been said about the importance of storytelling in marketing and brand success. Scientists have experimented with how stories affect our cognitive thinking and memory. Brain scans show more activity when we’re listening to stories, which is probably why stories are 22 times more effective than facts alone. Stories connect, place focus on real people, and experiences. In turn, it creates empathy. But it’s not enough to just tell any story: how do you trigger the right emotions to create both desire and the urgency to buy?

Here are five ways to help maximize the effectiveness of your story.

  1. Keep it simple.
    The “rule of three” isn’t just for comedy. Things that come in threes are easier to remember and more satisfying to our brains. It’s a good place to start, and if you have more than three key points, seriously consider whether you can eliminate or combine any of them. The strategy of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks is more likely to overwhelm or bore your audience.
  2. Prepare.
    Part of finding the right audience is knowing who they are, so do your homework. Just as a job candidate researches their prospective employer — branding, marketing, and sales professionals should research the customer or audience they’re targeting. Interview them, solicit feedback from existing customers, and incorporate your findings.
  3. Be genuine.
    This means having a desire to connect with your audience. Do this by showing that you understand their needs and concerns. It is equally as important to find the right audience as it is to believe what you are trying to communicate. If you don’t believe in what it is you are trying to say, how can anyone else?
  4. Personalize your interactions.
    The best sales professionals pay attention to the details, listen, and tailor their conversations accordingly. That doesn’t mean telling a different story depending on who you’re talking to. It means telling the same story in a different way that will resonate with that particular person. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and come up with a message that really speaks to them, rather than just repeating the same old message to just anybody.
  5. Show, don’t tell.
    You have a clear, yet simple message. You know who your audience is (and who it isn’t). Figure out what parts of your story intersect with their anxiety and pain, excitement and success. You can’t tell your customers what to do, but like Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker teaches, you can use the power of storytelling to help shape how others see you and persuade them to join your community.
Go Nimbly is the premier marketing and sales consultancy for SaaS companies. Founded and headquartered in San Francisco, Go Nimbly provides customers with a customized team to manage everything from strategy to execution for their marketing and sales systems. To learn more, visit gonimbly.com.