Once upon a time, everyone was a teller of
tales. People told stories as they worked to pass the time or to pass
along valuable information
about their heritage. The art of
storytelling evolved naturally because
some people preferred telling tales of heroes, myths and legends while
others preferred listening to them.
Today in our fast moving world, the need to tell stories is perhaps
greater than ever. Stories allow the masses to connect with ideas and
dreams. They give them an excuse
to move away from the 140 character bite
to become immersed in something greater than themselves
while sparking their imagination and intellect to open the doors of
Stories involved many senses. The listener wants more than just seeing,
they need to feel, taste, hear and smell. The more senses the story
awakens the stronger is the listener's
There are many places where a business storyteller can perform magic;
movie theatres (product placements), television (commercials) and
an exhibition (a careful blend of display
hardware and well-prepared
Creating compelling stories is more than simple fabrication. It requires a
thought out approach which, when executed properly, will make
doing business easier. When a story is told in
the context of your product
or brand, it offers the customer a moment of entertainment.
Here for a brief moment they can escape into another world, where they are
and sense how your solutions might make a
difference to them.
Stories are not just for those exhibitors in a B to C situation. B to B
exhibitors also need to ask what appeals to their customers and build a
story that satisfies this focus.
Tips for the Exhibition Storyteller
Select a story appropriate to the interests, and demographics of the
audience. Think about some of the themes that major brands have
used in their storytelling:
beverage with friends;
Participating in the adventure of a lifetime;
secret dream or ambition;
Finding a satisfying lifestyle;
Fulfilling a romantic fantasy;
like a gourmet.
Being the recipient of praise from your boss and colleagues
story themes are deliberately chosen to resonate with the specific desires
and needs of the target audience.
If you have ever read to a child, you know that repetition of key phrases,
concepts or the rhythm of the prose is what keeps their interest.
in the past, brand messages, logos and colors
have been an excellent way
of reinforcing what you want remembered. But take your
storytelling one step further and ensure that repetition is included in
your entire exhibition plan: your
promotional efforts, signage and
graphics, clothing and most importantly how well your staff brings the
story to life.
You want stories that build up suspense and result in a good climax,
preferably tales where characters speak for themselves rather than in
straight narratives. This is where your crafting
is crucial. Storytelling
is difficult. It might make sense to hire a professional writer to do the
However, if you chose to do it yourself remember the process may require
lots of re-writes
until it's right. Don't be discouraged, with each
draft you can solicit feedback and then incorporate these comments and ask
Animate your story
Your story starts when your staff smile and make eye contact with a
visitor. What happens next is crucial. When staff repeats, by rout, a
story they have memorized it often comes across
as boring and insincere.
This is where the role of rehearsal is so important. Encourage your staff to tell the story in their own words then have them tell it to
a colleague over and over again
until it becomes second nature.
Develop a solid opener
Once you have introduced yourself to the attendee and engaged them in
conversation begin your story with an opener such as:
tell you a story..."
"It goes like this..."
Pull it all together
well crafted and executed story will bring the attendee to a place where
they're hanging on every word to find out how the story ends.
At this point you move away from the story back to
reality by saying
something like:n will alleviate the concerns they may have.
"Let me tell you what happens..."
"As you can well imagine..."
"Our story has a happy ending..."
At this moment you unfold your happy ending in
a way that delivers the solution your attendee was always looking for.
Using a well-crafted story lets you stand out in a crowd of exhibitors
busy pitching their products and services. It engages the visitor
on a deep level and leaves them satisfied that your
alleviate the concerns they may have.