Storytelling is a key skill, and for early-stage startups, it's vital!
Capturing your audience's attention, whether they're an investor, a future hire or a customer requires you to be able to tell multiple stories, of varying lengths, at any time and in any way!
Sounds complicated, but, here are some hacks to see what make a good story and test out your own.
Sounds simple, right?
But really think about what you're reading and start collecting examples of great storytelling.
You can start Google alerts for all your competitors and the key terms associated with what you do. Set them up to be delivered as often as you need them, and start a tracker.
The tracker can note everything from the article title and journalist, to your own short summary of the piece, highlighting the story told.
Think about any stand out learnings from the piece and make a note. What stood out to you
You may spot a theme here…
Go and watch lots of videos from companies similar, and different, to you. From fun product videos to elevator pitches, get some inspiration and learn what NOT to do, from others. You'll also start to see best practice examples and find a style that suits you.
Do the same again, but specifically look at different lengths of video used on social media, and what makes people engage. A video is the hardest thing to nail, so dedicate some time to thinking about what works for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat etc.
Got it yet?
Start taking note of any story ideas you have. Have a running document --just brain dump anything you think of, whether it's a headline, slide ideas or the way in which you deliver a pitch in person!
Write down your story. Write down the full version, long-form. Then cut it down to 10 minutes. Then 5. Then 1. Have your different audiences read them --friendly people you know-- and get honest feedback and constructive criticism.
Start testing your story or pitch to anyone you meet. Make note of what questions they ask, their body language as you speak and again, ask for feedback.
Film yourself doing your pitch or telling your story. Really listen to the delivery and look at your own body language. We often forget how gestures and tone, pausing and volume can play a big part in capturing attention.
Read, watch, write and speak. And the one theme that runs through all of this? Listening.
Listen to stories, and listen to feedback. That in itself is a powerful tool.