Storytelling for your Business

It is no surprise that I am featuring storytelling for your business. It is National Storytelling week from 28th January – 4th February, and it is good to highlight the importance and effectiveness of storytelling for businesses and for individual profile building. In the next few weeks the Superstar Communicator Podcast is featuring business people using their story to engage with audiences.

It is easy to consider that storytelling is for children, or for Z list ‘celebrities’ craving attention. But is a very effective way to engage with an audience and for them to learn about your business and the passion behind it. This week’s podcast is a masterclass on storytelling Listen here


The art of storytelling has a long tradition. Throughout the world, sharing stories has been a way of communicating news, values, morals, history and warnings. A few years ago my family and I visited the Viking Festival in York; we were treated to a saga re-enactment, where an artiste dressed in Viking costume recited a ‘Saga’ of a battle. It was spoken, but almost sung, with percussion accompaniment. It was so exciting – and a style of this would have been shared after a battle to remind people of the bravery and the news.

In folk music, a lot of the songs are ‘storytelling’ and the dances often have a narrative (something I wasn’t aware of until I watched a demonstration by a Morris Dancing team). If storytelling has worked for hundreds of years, it can work for businesses and raising personal profiles too. Listen here to the podcast masterclass.

In last week’s podcast, the wonderful Mel Noakes shared her inspiring story; where she told the listeners how she was inspired to support other women develop their confidence. She had a very clear message as well as telling the audience the reason why she was doing what she does.

If you follow the podcast, as well as this blog, you read similar stories over the next few weeks. I will be featuring a number of entrepreneurs who are using storytelling to connect with their potential clients, and to make their businesses truly memorable.

So, what should we do to ensure our story is effective. Here are five top tips.

  1. Consider the purpose of telling the story. Is it gratuitous because you want people to listen to you? Or something you believe will be of genuine interest to them.
  2. Plan out what you are going to say with a clear beginning, middle and conclusion. Avoid the ‘Shaggy Dog Story’ where the story meanders around; rather consider a focus.
  3. Know your audience. Use a style of language and vocabulary that will resonate with them.
  4. Write bullet points of key points to say – this will help with avoiding irrelevant information.
  5. Practice, record your voice, rehearse, do a dress rehearsal with friends so your story is fluent and flows naturally. You need to make it sound spontaneous, natural and authentic. There is nothing worse for an audience than rambling or going off message; preparation will avoid this.

Good luck with your storytelling. And let me know how you get on!

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About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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