Great stories build trust with your stakeholders
You’re building a business that could make a difference to climate change. But you need to sell your idea to other people, to build a brand, and grab attention in a noisy world. You need to get your story straight.
Great stories come from the heart of who you are and what you’re trying to do. Great stories build trust with your stakeholders, create a strong brand and inspire people to overcome barriers. Stories work better than data or scientific arguments when you want people to listen and – more importantly – when you want them to act.
This Masterclass takes you through the basic ingredients that a good story needs. You’ll learn how to wrap your ideas up in compelling stories that work for any audience. You will get immediate practical benefits, whether you need to build a brand, pitch your business plan to investors or start talking to customers.
By the end of the session, participants will be able to pitch their business idea (whether at Accelerator Level 1, 2 or 3) to a small audience. Participants should fill out this very short,
Dates: Monday and Tuesday 4th/5th November 2019, following on from Startup Weekend Energy & Sustainability in Oslo, Norway.
Location: Oslo, Norway
- 4 November: 10.00-17.30 following by a networking dinner
- 5 November 09.00-17.00
Audience: Limited to current participants and alumni of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator programme.
Objectives and Agenda
After the two-day session, participants will be able to:
• Tell compelling stories about themselves and their work in any setting.
• Find powerful stories about the development of their business idea.
• Turn complex scientific arguments and data into widely accessible stories.
• Establish a “master-story” that clarifies the mission and identity of their business.
• Use basic narrative tools to make their stories memorable.
• Use stories to establish trust with key stakeholders.
• Understand how stories can overcome barriers to innovation.
The Masterclass will be a mix of presentations, break-out sessions, case studies and group work sessions. Participants will be given the option to present short stories to the group at the end of the session, with critical feedback.
Masterclass Day 1
Why stories matter: understand the importance of action, emotion and values in stories; how experts need to think within a “narrative paradigm” rather than just relying on scientific arguments and data; understand your role in the story you are trying to tell.
- Task 1 – Character Stories: connect with audiences and establish trust by telling stories about yourself and your own work that show your values in action.
- Task 2 – Innovation Stories: understand the role of emotion in stories and how to find strong stories in your own innovation process.
Wrap your facts in a story: understand the basic narrative tools you need to get your message across to the right audience in the form of a story.
- Task 3 – Story Arcs: use the rise and fall of a story arc to make your message more credible, especially when talking about risky innovations.
- Task 4 – Rules, Cheats & Rebels: use conflict, outrage and moral imperative to make your story more compelling.
- Task 5 – Archetypes: find a brand identity that communicates at a deeper level how your start-up could make the world a better place.
Focus on your audience: understand how to adapt stories for funders, investors and the wider public debate.
- Task 6 – Audience Profiles: focus on the audience you need to convince, decide what they need to hear from you and which story will work best for them.
Review Day 1 and prepare for Day 2
Masterclass Day 2
Telling stories to grab attention: understand how to make your story stand out in a very noisy world.
- Task 1 – TRUE stories: borrow tricks from journalists and advertisers to make your story Timely, Relatable, Unexpected or Evocative.
- Task 2 – Likes and Shares: adapt your stories for social media, to increase the chances of being shared and starting a wider conversation.
- Task 3 – Show and Tell: master the basics of visual communication, in a presentation or video.
- Task 4 – Pitch Perfect: learn a simple structure for a pitch to investors or stakeholders that makes the most of your stories.
- Hook – five good ways to grab attention
- Why me? – a brief story of what you bring to the situation
- Problem / Opportunity / Practicalities / Promise – contrast the difference between now and the future, using a super-simple story arc
- Call to action – what do you want your audience to do next?
Prepare and deliver three minute presentations
Participants are invited to tell stories they might use in a pitch, with critical feedback from the trainer and the group. This is optional, but everyone should be able to give a broad outline for a “foundation” story by the end of the day.
Steve is a Business Storytelling expert, international author and former BBC TV journalist. He has told over 20,000 stories in his career, and can help you tell yours. Steve’s approach to Business Storytelling is based in the best traditions of narrative fiction, but is highly adapted to the real world of business and finance. One charity CEO said after a training session “Steve’s storytelling advice transformed my last pitch. The donors were really impressed and we walked away with an extra £15k backing for our project.”
Steve has worked for a range of clients in business, media and universities, including the BBC, Accenture, Trinity College Dublin and the UK’s scientific innovation hub KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network)