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Engaging an audience and looking for support for your business idea is easy, but gaining funding or a green light to take your idea forward is the challenge in which so many fail to achieve.
Good slides, nice numbers, and great delivery is never enough. What you have to do is weave stories into your pitch. Why is story telling so important to us as innovators and entrepreneurs?
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Stories are the foundation to being a human.
From the earliest age they engage our attention. Stories are how we teach our children the fundamentals of life. If it’s a bed time story, or a lesson from your parent ‘don’t run with scissors in your hands, I remember my friend he was running then.. etc .. you get the drift’. The beginning, the middle bit and the end.
2. Stories help us rationalise behaviour.
So why exactly are we supporting this project? Because if you do, then you get this expected outcome. You know, just like the other story you recall about a similar project. Telling stories allows the listener to build conclusions and reaffirm decisions.
Stories make it easy for people to understand, and help you communicate ideas.
3. As humans, we look for the story.
We don’t actually support innovation or startups for rational reasons. Like we don’t buy products and services in a purely reasoned way with a supply of perfect information.
We make decisions with our unconscious, as opposed to our conscious mind. The potential investor, while visibly rational and thorough with your business plans, will base a lot of their decision making based on applying what you have told them – or rather, the story you have framed for them.
4. Stories stick in your memory bank
Stories stick in our mind, or rather, much of what we recall and share it will be told as a story. When we frame a business idea, we’ll often use another brand to make it stick, for example, ‘it’s the AirBnB for Daycare’. We know the AirBnB story, we know what daycare, your potential investor works out the rest.
5. Stories are the essence of how we feel.
Underneath all the presentations, the business plans, the exploration in innovation projects, we are after all – human. And most of us will have feelings, which at the early stage of a startup or product development hunch or a gut feeling means a lot. Stories evoke passion, involvement and drive.