We see it happen on television, video games, the web, and especially in business. It involves the art of connecting with the audience on an emotional level and expressing something you want them to take away from the experience.
1. The Catalyst
This is the trigger that sets everything into motion. For most companies, this might be the reason why they’re doing what they do. It could be a central problem they hope to solve, a gap they want to fill, or a cause they want to support. You can discover your own catalyst by articulating what inspired you to start.
2. The Beginning
A countless amount of startups had humble beginnings.
Apple was started in the garage of an average suburban home. Facebook was started in a dorm room. And if you’re like most creative people, you’ve started yours on your laptop from where ever you happen to be when you have a moment to work.
Articulating how you started will help you craft a clear beginning to your venture, which can be one of the most important parts of your overall story. After all, if you skip the beginning of a story, people won’t know where you’re coming from.
3. The Middle
This is where companies hit their stride.
The middle is a place where the audience experiences all the twists, turns, and challenges involved in the story. For companies, this portion can be interpreted as the time in which they hit their stride and do what they do best. If you’re like Facebook, you introduce new features, expand, and innovate. Know what the middle of your company is so you can tell people what you do best.
4. The End
While the end is usually when the curtains close for good, consider thinking of the end as how the audience member will view your company after they disengage from your company. What do you want them to think of your company? What do you hope to achieve? How has your company impacted the universe?
This portion may be a bit far in the distance, but it’s good to think about it because it helps you articulate the goals you’d like to achieve.
Another super-crucial aspects of storytelling is the character … it’s what helps the audience connect with the story.
Likewise, you are the character to your company. Telling your story for your audience will require that you build your own character so people know more about the company. Even if you’re private, like Steve, it’s important to create a persona the audience can connect with. We watched Steve do this for years during his keynote presentations. Everything from his uniform black shirt and jeans, the water, and the occasional meditative pose created an image people married with Apple.
6. Thematic Value
Every story has an underlying message the storyteller wants to get across to the audience. This is where you might consider focusing in on what matters to you and what your company values.
Thinking about the catalyst should help you define what thematic value you’d like to send to your audience.
Build Your Own Story
Using these basic storytelling techniques won’t work overnight. You need to spend time letting everything grow organically … just be sure you’re actively thinking about it and paying attention to the growth.
Knowing the story behind your company will help you achieve your goals, connect with others, spread a positive word about your brand, and more.