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"Have you ever looked at your marketing materials and thought, “that’s not really me?” Been there. In fact, my (thankfully last) resume comes to mind. And, oddly, my mind wandered a bit, thinking how most marketing materials similarly fail to tell us what’s really unique about a brand."
Well, I am embarrassed to admit this, but the author of Story Works, Sharlene Sones, asked me to review her new e-book months ago -- and I am just now getting to it. My apologies Sharlene! But better late than never I guess.
I love this book. For several reasons:
Content -- Sharlene does a masterful job at guiding us through the business applications of story. She touches on everything from marketing/branding, unique proposition, sales, to leadership, culture, career development, and back. Whew! That's a lot of territory to cover. But she does it well.
Sharlene explains how story will make a difference in these areas -- and WHY it does. And she gives us tips for using story in several applications. As a bonus, there are lots of story quotes to add to your list, along with examples from companies to make her points.
What I particularly like is her focus on story as conversation -- and that story sharing is where the real leverage is in org story work.
I may quibble a bit on some of Sharlene's points -- are testimonials really stories? Depends on the definition you use. For me, not so much. But the bulk of Sharlene's material is so right on, I am not going to be so picky.
Sharlene also tackles 'engagement' as a topic and brings to light the story dynamics involved in that. I think there is still a lot to learn about storytelling and engagement in business, but this gives us a good start.
I wish there had been more focus on listening, too. Implied in Sharlene's book is how transformative stories can be in business. A lot of what she talks about is story at the transactional level -- even when story provides inspiration and meaning. For example -- when a business is really in the story groove, stories have the potential to change both the teller and listener. Story as transformation in business is the next frontier I think.
I could say more, but I'm running out of space. This book is inspirational and a good kick in the pants for bringing story into your core business activities. If you want a great e-book primer on business storytelling, this is it.
If you want to go deeper, dig into the books by Annette Simmons and Steve Denning.
You do have to buy this book. But you can also download a chapter for free. I have absolutely no affiliation with Sharlene other than we are colleagues and both went to grad school at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it
Via Karen Dietz
"To truly give voice to your story in a way that feels right for yourself and your business, you need the following ingredients which if you’ll notice, these tips can also be adapted to help you live a more fulfilling and happier life:"
Via Karen Dietz
Storytellers change their presentation style in different situations. What is suitable for an intimate venue, will not work as well in a large venue. What works for a circle of ten people, does not work in the same way for a circle of twenty-five. Even the hour of day, among many other things, might call for a different capacity or approach. Not everything is possible or fit for storytelling. Amplification might solve a volume issue but it doesn’t do much for intimacy. On the other hand there are situations where it does. The way to gain ‘elasticity’ that will enable a storyteller to adapt as needed, is by learning how to stretch and fold his own wings. It’s like learning how to diminish and increase sound in music. It’s not only changing the volume – the entire sound-production mechanism adapts.
[Image credit: brewbooks on Flickr]
Ahhh -- words of wisdom from one of my colleagues and favorite storytellers -- Llimor Shiponi. This post of hers is all about storytelling elasticity and the power of oral storytelling.
In this electronic age when digital storytelling is often viewed as THE SOLUTION -- this post is a reminder that oral storytelling is still the gold standard.
Want executive presence? Focus on building oral storytelling skills and sharing your stories in person as often as you can.
Want to increase business? Focus on building oral storytelling skills and sharing your stories in person as often as you can.
There's no substitute. Enjoy Limor's wise words of wisdom here!
And thank you Gregg Morris @greggvm for originally finding and sharing this article!
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it ;
Via Gregg Morris, Karen Dietz