Take-aways from a talk in the Trust Center on 7/21/16
Your story has a goal, not just entertaining others
- Stories are incredibly important for startups. You don’t really have much at this point but a good story can go a long way.
- Tell a story that makes sense to your audience: the story you tell your investors is different than what you tell new hires, yourself or your team.
Why does storytelling work so well?
- It is biological – people understand and connect better when you tell them a story.
- Repetition of main points can help make a change. You are experiencing the same thing with your audience – emotionally and biologically and it makes your audience react.
- Good story = money: people value good stories!
A good story is
- This is an emotional journey! Your job as an entrepreneur is to guide your audience through this journey.
- People need to understand: what are the states you are going through? Where is this story going? And what happens if you fail?
The opening message
- The opening message sets the tone for the entire meeting. people need to:
- Care! – People need to be emotionally invested so you can lock their attention.
- Get it! – People need to understand your message – especially when you are presenting a new concept to the world.
- Avoid too much depth – too many details can overwhelm others. The messaging might not be clear and you might lose the emotional connection with your audience.
- The opening should clearly articulate:
- Who’s the person you’re targeting?
- What is their problem?
- What prevents them from solving it?
Guidelines for a good story
- Don’t waste my time: A good story makes a promise right at the beginning – people should know what to expect. Have a goal in mind! Is it raising money? Hiring?
- Give your hero a spine: What keeps your hero stand tall? What do they care about? If you discover these things in your PMR make sure you communicate these learnings.
- What are the stakes? You need to show that you understand that it’s not all perfect. And there are some challenges.
- Stories have themes: Focus on one concept that everything you say relates to. Repeat it to yourself and refer back to it throughout your story.
- Make people care!
- I do need a reason to listen
- Emotional impact early
- You can weave multiple stories together
- Draw from personal experience
- Who are you in the story? (your company and you are different! The story of founding your company a different story than how you personally relate to the situation)
- Believe in your story!
- Avoid: linear and chronological stories. Even with investors, tell a story that has ups and downs – you learned things, you made a progress.
- Improv technique for telling an interesting story: 7 lines story:
- Once upon of time…
- Every day…
- Until one day..
- And then…
- And then….
- Until finally..
- And ever since that day…