7 practical business storytelling tips

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 1, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling


The art of business storytelling is all about practice. Here are seven practical things you can do to improve your business storytelling.

  1. Never mention the ‘s’ word, as in ‘I have a story I would like to share …’ Instead, just launch into the story, starting with a sentence that helps people understand why they should listen. For example, “Business storytelling helps leaders inspire change. A few backs …”
  2. Keep your stories short. It’s not a performance. You can tell a story in 30 seconds. Good business stories are 1-3 minutes long.
  3. Practise telling your stories, noticing what works and what doesn’t. Start with small audiences, where the stakes are low.
  4. Know the business point you’re making. And know why this story is important to you. When you do, all the unnecessary elements of the story will fall away.
  5. Don’t write a story out in full when you collect it. Just jot down enough to remember it, especially important specifics like names and dates.
  6. Don’t get stuck on a particular story and tell it to death. Your colleagues will hate it. Refresh you repertoire every day.
  7. Tell your own stories before telling other people’s stories.
  8. And banish the storytelling voice.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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