Storytelling for Event Professionals

The Power of Storytelling

From the time we understood the written word as children, we’ve looked forward to hearing a good story. Why? Because it’s part of who we are. After all, humans have been telling stories for thousands of years. We’re captivated by narratives because they can help provide meaning to our lives. Stories are a means of bringing people together through shared experiences, cultural and moral identity, and empathy. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that stories are the lifeblood of any event.

How Can Storytelling Make Your Event Stand Out?

If you are in sync with your audience, you have the power to influence them. A compelling story will help them better identify and feel connected with you and your organization, which is essential when attempting to convince them of your expertise. A good story can also:

-Help make your event exceptional by entertaining and inspiring your attendees.

-Stimulate your attendees by giving them the knowledge they want and need.

-Provide a clear picture of your brand’s mission and culture.

-Motivate attendees to take action.

But keep in mind that a good story is also ubiquitous; it needs to be shared beyond the opening remarks of your event or even during the entirety of the event. It’s an invaluable tool that should be used whenever and wherever you promote your organization. You want your audience to be emotionally connected with you at all times.

How Do You Tell a Good Story?

Now that you know the importance of a good story and how it can captivate, empower, and inspire your audience, how do you go about telling a good story? In other words, what are some of the key factors you need to consider when framing a story that aligns with the beliefs of your organization?

1)     Know your audience. First, you do so by understanding who they are. What’s their demographic? Are you speaking to a particular age group, cultural group, or workforce? You also need to know what interests and motivates your audience. What will they identify with? Much of this preparation can be done ahead of time, and by focusing on personalization you can ensure that you and your audience see eye to eye.

2)     Cut the fat. Once you know your audience, there’s no reason to include the parts of your story that aren’t relevant to them. Every part of your story should serve your audience; if not, you run the risk of losing their interest. And this also pertains to the entirety of your event.

3)     Make it personal. You may know some of the people in your audience, but if you don’t, make it a point to introduce yourself ahead of time. Get a sense of who they are, beyond their basic demographic. This is a great tool for making your story more collaborative because you can involve one or more audience members in the narrative by interacting with them. Ultimately, this will help the rest of the audience identify with you and your organization.

4)     End with a call to action. Once you wrap up your story with the perfect bow (make sure you have a positive endpoint), you need to include a call to action that will emotionally appeal to your audience and motivate them to take action.