The Secret to Keeping Your Audience’s Attention: Corporate Storytelling
A great story is not about the actions that take place in the story but the actions it inspires the viewer/listener to take after understanding the story. As human beings, we have always had an inclination toward storytelling or, more or less, anything that compels us to jog our imagination.
This inclination has not faltered in thousands of years. Even today, we like to read and listen to stories, ranging from a few lines to hundreds of pages. Immersing ourselves in fictional plots and the lives of fictional characters has become a way of escapism from the stressful lives we lead today.
This inclination of ours is what gave light to corporate storytelling.
What is Corporate Storytelling?
Corporate storytelling is, in simple words, creating stories for corporations. The practice of corporate storytelling has become popular recently, and more and more corporations are employing this technique as a form of strategic marketing.
Corporations are exploiting that inclination of human beings towards storytelling and using it to put across their business practices in an entertaining way. Storytelling also helps faceless corporations get humanised. Corporate storytelling is just like normal storytelling, with the exception that a corporation’s goal is to promote the brand, goods or services.
These corporate stories can be in various forms, including videos on social media, written stories through e-mails or presentations, advertisements on TV, and in verbal form at meetings, seminars etc.
Giant corporations even pay for their employees to attend corporate storytelling courses to get the best out of it.
Secrets to Keeping Your Audience’s Attention
While storytelling in itself is a very engaging form of promotion, if not done right, it could blow miserably. In the case of corporate storytelling, it needs to be interesting enough to hook the audience, establish a connection between them and the business by evoking compassion in the audience and leave them wanting more.
It has to call those inner feelings from the hearts of the audience; otherwise, it would fail to build trust between the corporation and the audience. So, it is vital that corporate storytelling does its job effectively.
Following are some secrets to keeping your audience’s attention in corporate storytelling:
This point can not be stressed enough. When people look at corporate stories, they don’t expect perfect characters living their perfect life in their perfect homes with their perfect families. The audience does not want that. Instead, they want something they can relate to and say, “yeah, I had a similar experience”.
Having these out-of-the-world characters takes away the essence of the story, making it seem unreachable to the common people.
Thus, having relatable, grounded characters in stories is an important lesson in a corporate storytelling course.
This is no secret that a story must have a plot as its spine, but surprisingly, it is ignored a lot. A good number of stories out there lack the support of a well-formulated plot, leading to their inevitable failure.
A plot is a sequence of interrelated events in a logical framework of a story, a novella or a novel. Without a plot, these events lay lifeless as a whole, not contributing to the framework or making much sense in the greater picture.
A story without a plot is like a keyboard. Everything is right there but makes no sense unless the keys are stringed into coherent sentences. So, having a well-defined plot is a must.
Human beings love drama, and unexpected plot twists smack in the face are our favourites. A story having these becomes an immediate success. No story running on the same wavelength can interest a reader or listener for long enough.
You need to bring in at least one plot twist somewhere around the middle but closer to the end to give an impactful climax. The importance of twists can be seen in how the reader questions everything after the twist hits. They will go back and relive the whole story in their heads, trying to understand the occurrence of the twist.
It is a great way of imprinting the story into their minds.
Good Guy, Bad Guy
As repetitive and cliché as that may sound, a good guy, bad guy story will always be on trend. A story without some sort of a hero and a villain is just too simple and not memorable enough. We love it when the virtuous hero fights all the bad guys and wins in the end.
In corporate stories, the hero could be any employee or the company itself fighting, metaphorically, the competitors, harsh life situations, environmental changes or a number of other such issues.
These evoke sympathy in the audience, and they start to root for the hero and their success.
Now, this is a must in a corporate story, according to some corporate storytelling courses. A story without an appropriate message is like sleeping for nine hours and still feeling tired. Meaningless. What is the point of the story? Why are you conveying it? Is this story worth telling? Will the message influence people to take some action for the benefit of the corporation? These are the questions you need to ask before writing a story.
Having a clear idea about where the story is going to lead beforehand is ideal in order for you to come up with a message.
The message has to be in line with the company’s motives and principles. Your story can not have a simple “old is gold” as the message when your corporation deals with new-age technology. So, it must be relevant to the company.
Involve the Customer
A story only revolving around the business and its employees would not be well appreciated. People don’t want to hear a self-entitled corporation brag about its achievements that are attributed solely to its hard work.
Yes, hard work is good, it is important for a business but aren’t you forgetting something? Your corporation would not have been up on the pedestal if it were not for customers, the people who showed faith in your products or services. Without the customers, a corporation is nothing.
State how customers helped your corporation rise. You can even single out a customer that means a lot to your company and narrate the tale of your relationship with them.
Those were some tricks and secrets to keeping your audience’s attention in corporate storytelling. Having the skill to draft influential corporate stories would pay well in the long run. Lucky for you, Orator Academy provides a top-line corporate storytelling course for your corporation.
This corporate storytelling course focuses on public speaking, communication and, of course, storytelling whilst providing one-on-one training sessions and group discussions. Go for it!