Storytelling Techniques for Entrepreneurs

Posted on October 12, 2021
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Storytelling is one of our most powerful tools to inform, persuade, inspire, and sell ideas and products. Yet few of us know how to tell a compelling and impactful tale. Read our summary or watch the workshop to learn important storytelling techniques for entrepreneurs.

In this VCWorkshop | Storytelling for Entrepreneurs, Hilary Trudell of The Yarn led us through how to craft our own stories. The workshop (watch by clicking the graphic above!) focuses on the basics of storytelling and how entrepreneurs can cultivate stories that communicate the guiding values of their brand. We explored the essential components of a great story and started crafting the narrative of our own ventures!

Here’s a quick overview of the workshop’s exercise to help you pinpoint your company’s core values, the heart of your story and how to tell that story in a way that compels customers and clients!

1. Discover Your Core Values

It’s tempting to try and be all things to all people, but narrowing down your very top two or three core values is key to telling clear stories about your business that differentiate you from the crowd!

Not sure where to start? Pick eight from the list in the workshop (or any list of values you can find) and work your way down to two from there.

Once you determine your core values, make sure you’re able to answer these questions (even if just to yourself): Why did you pick those values? How do those values show up in your company?

2. Incorporate Challenge, Choice and Change

A helpful way to think about your story is the Challenge, Choice and Change structure. Consider the challenge your company is addressing in the world, the choices you’ve made as far as how your business will address these challenges, and the change your business aims to effect for your customers, clients or the world!

Communicating what you do in terms of challenge, choice and change helps people relate to you and your business, which is one of the most powerful motivations!

3. Make a One Minute Pitch

First, write or record the long version. The long version is for you – get all of your thoughts out there on paper or on a voice memo without worrying about length, yet. This will help you think through your story all the way, and will give you something to start from as you craft your one minute pitch!

Having a one minute pitch that tells your story is an invaluable storytelling technique for entrepreneurs and business owners. Once you get someone’s attention, you likely only have it for a VERY short time, so you have to be ready to make that time count! Take your long version of your story and edit it down to the very most important and compelling parts, always keeping in mind how this story ladders up to your core values.

We hope this helps you continue to develop your story and incorporate these skills into business pitches. Please watch or listen to the workshop above for more explanation on each step and some great prompts to help you get started or keep going!

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