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September 2019
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5 Simple Steps to Telling Business Stories
TD Magazine

5 Simple Steps to Telling Business Stories

Stories are powerful communication tools. When told in a business context, simplicity, relevance, and intent are essential.

1. Identify the goal.

Business stories should be told with intent so that they feel relevant. Start by identifying what you want to achieve.

2. Outline the raw material.

Identify the five Ws—who was involved, what happened, where it took place, when it came about, and why it occurred.

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3. Shape the story.

Map out other elements (such as emotions, senses, relevant details, and dialogue) to add interest. As you tell the story, dial these up or down, summarize them, or elaborate on them to maximize impact.

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4. Insert your story into the conversation taking place.

Wait for the appropriate time during the conversation to tell your story, and use a lead-in phrase that makes the story feel like a logical extension of what came before.

5. Bring it home.

Relevance matters, so finish your story with your established goal. "I wanted to share this with you because …" or "What we can learn from that incident is …."

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About the Author

Greg Owen-Boger is the vice president of Turpin Communication. He was schooled in management and the performing arts and joined Turpin in 1995 as a workshop videographer. He quickly worked his way up, and now serves as account manager, trainer, and coach for a broad range of Turpin’s clients. He is a frequent blogger and popular conference speaker. He is also co-author of The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined. Greg served as the 2015 president of the Chicagoland Chapter of the Association for Talent Development, and is among many thought leaders who contributed to Master Presenter: Lessons From the World’s Top Experts on Becoming a More Influential Speaker.

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