Is Your Business Story Compelling?

Capture your audience(s) with a good story.


We humans love a good story and have for thousands of years, even before written language existed.  Knowing this, shouldn’t we think about the stories in our own business?  Since we know that it’s stories that are the most effective form of communication, an investment of your time will have many payoffs.   One of those may be for a potential buyer since one of the first questions we hear is “tell us the story of the business”. Let’s review what makes a good story, why humans like to learn from stories and how stories will benefit your business. 

What makes a good story?

You probably remember this from English class, but as a reminder:  there are several key elements that can make a good story.  They include:

  • Character: A compelling story typically features strong and relatable characters that audiences can connect with and root for. 
  • Conflict: Conflict is an essential component of storytelling, as it creates tension and drama that keep audiences engaged. Compelling stories often feature a central conflict that the main characters must overcome to achieve their goals.
  • Plot: A well-crafted plot is crucial to a compelling story, as it provides structure and direction for the narrative. This can include unexpected twists and turns that keep audiences guessing and engaged.
  • Setting: The setting of a story can also be a key element in making it compelling. A vivid and immersive setting can transport audiences to another world and help them feel more invested in the story.
  • Emotion: Compelling stories often evoke strong emotions in audiences, such as empathy, fear, or joy. This can be achieved using vivid language, strong imagery, and relatable characters and situations.
  • Theme: Finally, a compelling story often has a strong underlying theme or message that resonates with audiences on a deeper level. 

Overall, storytelling is a powerful tool for learning because it allows us to connect with information on a deeper level and apply it to our own lives in a meaningful way.

Reasons why humans prefer to learn through stories:

  1. Emotional engagement: Stories can evoke strong emotions in listeners, which makes the information conveyed in the story more memorable and impactful. When we are emotionally engaged, we are more likely to remember the details of a story and internalize its message.
  2. Relatability: Stories often feature characters and situations that listeners can relate to on a personal level. When we see ourselves reflected in a story, we are more likely to connect with it and apply its lessons to our own lives.
  3. Contextualization: Stories provide context and meaning to information, helping to make it more understandable and relevant. By placing information in a narrative framework, it becomes easier to remember and apply.
  4. Simplicity: Stories often simplify complex information and concepts by presenting them in a clear and relatable way. This makes it easier for listeners to understand and remember the information.
  5. Creativity: Stories allow for creativity and imagination, which can make learning more enjoyable and engaging. When we are engaged in a story, we are more likely to stay focused and interested in the topic being presented.

How storytelling will benefit your business.  

  • Brand storytelling companies use narratives to create a personal connection with customers and help differentiate their brand from competitors. This can be seen in the marketing campaigns of companies like Nike, which uses stories of perseverance and determination to inspire customers to push themselves to their limits. People are interested in the emotions and the “Whys” that are revealed in a great story.  
  • Sharing culture and values via storytelling brings often-used words to life.  In companies like Google, onboarding includes stories from current employees to illustrate and reinforce the organization’s culture and how values are translated into actions for new hires and existing employees. 
  • Conveying complex ideas and information to stakeholders such as investors or clients is more effective when storytelling techniques are combined with the use of data visualization such as infographics or interactive dashboards, to help audiences understand and interpret complex data.  

What do you think are the qualities of a great story?  How would you tell the story of your company to potential buyers?   Thinking about how your company can maximize its value?  We’d be happy to have a confidential complimentary conversation with you about these or any other exit/sales/buying issues. 

You can reach me via email: [email protected] or on my cell phone a: 224-688-8838.  

We’re here to help you Harvest Your Potential!

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio