More and more companies are turning to creative communication specialists to help them unearth and rediscover the stories that make their businesses unique. Whether it's to find a new approach to selling their products and services or to take the organisation to another level.
So why can it often be so challenging to find those stories in a corporate setting?
Perhaps the answer lies in the formal and structured way we often have to approach our work as adults? Children, on the other hand, tend to instinctively think in stories. If I'm ever stuck trying to solve a problem, I'll turn to my seven and five year old sons to find a simple answer (my two year old will soon join them as a consultant no doubt).
My eldest, Milo, recently asked what I was doing the following day. I told him I was off to talk to someone from a company that made cables that were placed way down on the ocean floor, mostly for energy industries. He paused and then said, "How much cable did they put at the bottom of the sea Dad?" It was a simple and instinctive question. "I'll ask," I said. So I did, and although they didn't know the exact amount, their imagination had also been sparked and they assured me they would find out for Milo.
A few days later I received an email from the company and, after extensive research, the answer was an impressive 1.6 million metres. Delighted, I told Milo immediately. "How long is that?" he replied. He was right - 'How long was that?'. It was not only out of his experience to imagine how long that was but was certainly out of mine.
I wondered how tall the Shard was, but that didn’t help, as it turned out you would need over five thousand Shards. After converting to miles and thinking about what he knew, I told him it was the equivalent of us driving from London to Bournemouth and back to visit his Grandma eight times. "Wow, that's loads", he said.
Stories spark our imagination and create pictures in our minds. Those pictures enable us to retain information longer as we have a strong association with the information. Converting data to something our brains visualise quickly is crucial in pitches, presentations or speeches. Audiences are listening, imagining and moving on, hopefully in sync with the speaker. I will probably forget how many metres of cable sit on the ocean bed, but I'll certainly always remember eight car journeys to the sea.
At Edison Red we specialise in helping you understand how to find your stories and weave them into your presentations for maximum impact. You can read more about our Storytelling training or why not get in touch - we'd love to hear from you.