Thursday, July 14, 2011

The 7 Steps of Storytelling for Entrepreneurs

As a proud graduate of Stanford's d.School, I'm privileged to be part of the alumni mailing list, which includes a lot of the world's smartest, most creative people.

We've had a number of interesting discussions recently, ranging from 3D printing to the best source of "tiny balls" (don't ask). One of the most interesting has been the discussion about storytelling. One of my fellow alums reminded us of the following formula for an instant story:
  • Once upon a time....
  • And every day ....
  • Until one day ....
  • And because of that ....
  • And because of that ....
  • Until Finally ....
  • Ever since that day ....
  • And the moral is....
It struck me that this story template is extremely useful for entrepreneurs. It helps structure the narrative of why your company matters.
  • Once upon a time....Your market
  • And every day....The environment
  • Until one day....The problem
  • And because of that....Your solution
  • Until Finally....Your impact
  • Ever since that day....Your customers
  • And the moral is....Your secret sauce
This deep narrative structure helps turn a dry recitation of facts into a compelling story, once which can help you sell to customers and investors. Try it out, and let me know how it works for you!

5 comments:

Randal Reid said...

Great idea! I expect entrepreneurs would be more successful pitching to investors if they used this storytelling format.

Mbaker said...

Great post. This technique of telling your story is in the fabric of our culture. I would like to see more on this topic.

Mbaker said...

Great post. This technique of telling your story is in the fabric of our culture. I would like to see more on this topic.

Daniel R. said...

Very creative. I like the thinking outside the box with a direction approach with this method.

Please share more!

Daniel

Deborah said...

What a helpful post! I've been considering how to write my first pitch for a couple of weeks now, and this article has given me a good basis to start from.