John Steinbeck once wrote, “A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.”
“Research shows our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts for very long. Our brains are wired to understand and retain stories. A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey they feel different. The result is persuasion and sometimes action,” says Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Jennifer Aaker.
“Persuasion is the centerpiece of business activity,” says screenwriter Robert McKee in an HBR article entitled “Storytelling That Works.” “Trying to convince people with logic is tough for two reasons. One is they are arguing with you in their heads while you are making your argument. Second, if you do succeed in persuading them, you’ve done so only on an intellectual basis. That’s not good enough, because people are not inspired to act by reason alone.”
Susan Fisher, a strategic communication expert and principal at First Class says “Start with a person and his challenge, and intensify human interest by adding descriptions of time, place, and people with their emotions.”
Ron Arden, the late, great speech coach and stage director, once said “The written word is for the eye, the spoken word is for the rhythm.” When we read, it is easy to look back and read over a paragraph again. When we speak, we need to keep the audience with us. Present information in shorter segments than you would write. This gives maximum opportunities for vocal and physical emphasis.
The 4 Steps Dan Murphy from Import.io uses to structure story telling to help get funding and close deals.
Step 1: Start by outlining the Situation (or, the state of affairs in other words)
Step 2: Next, identify the Complication (what is changing to make things harder)
Step 3: Then, determine what Question your Situation and Complication are forcing you to answer.
Step 4: Finally, formulate and present your Answer (your solution/startup idea)