“You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built in the human plan.’’ – Margaret Atwood
Some questions about storytelling
What do we have in mind when we refer to storytelling? The conception of what it means to tell a story is not always clear, so let’s get some questions out of the way first.
What is this storytelling story all about?
First of all: what do we mean when we talk about storytelling? Storytelling means telling a story, simple as that. And a story could easily be about products, utilities and companies. Storytelling brings life into notions and conceptions that might otherwise seem vague and distant to those who read, watch and listen.
What are the advantages of storytelling?
Storytelling is useful to make a point and engage investors, drawing potential customers through language, key words, rhythm and structure. Everybody loves a good story and a good story also bridges the gap between who’s telling the story and the audience. Storytelling connects people with their own experiences, helping you deliver your message in an effective way.
How can a suitable story be found?
Stories are anywhere to be found, you just need to look in the right direction. In order to pick the best stories you have to dig a little deeper and at the same time fly a little higher. Dive into the thick of things and expand the horizon, somewhere in the middle you’ll find the story you were looking for.
Who are you talking to?
In order to find the right story to tell, you better find your target audience first. Once you have defined who’s going to be on the receiving end of your story, then you can start building a tailor-made narrative that will suit your audience in a smooth and yet catching way.
How do you pair data and stories?
Numbers do have a story to tell. Data storytelling combines data, visualization and narrative, using numbers as footholds, essential to help your audience climb up the often times steep tracks of the financial world. When data are presented as a part of a story, they can be memorable, persuasive and yes, even engaging.
Storytelling and finance, a good match?
The technical nature of finance often mitigates the efficiency of its communication, that’s why storytelling is essential. Numbers and figures are the cornerstone of any financial product but the stories that lie behind them are often more appealing than interest rates and fees. A good story will have the potential investor caught up and will lead his decision-making.
“Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” – Mark Twain
How to create good storytelling: 6 tips
Here are a few tips, some simple suggestions that might help you understand how storytelling works and what it can do for your business.
Tell a story, not a fairy tale
In a world of non-stop commercials, getting the viewer’s attention is complicated. A compelling narrative sparks interest, but storytelling does not equal fiction. Be creative and engaging but specific, authenticity is the backbone of reliable and effective storytelling.
Stories that build the vision
The financial vocabulary can be challenging for those lacking a proper background. Spreadsheets and benchmarks are key elements but the real story often lies behind numbers and charts. The real story is built by trends in society, economy and politics that shape the portfolio or the asset allocation.
Connect on a personal level
The investor must feel at the center of the stage, he makes choices and takes decisions over tangible issues. Financial security, family savings, retirement plans: that’s what’s at stake, that’s what you should be focusing on.
Trigger positive emotions
As of today, there’s no shortage of negative motivations. From politics to social media debates, communication seems to thrive on controversy. Avoid all that, set your message off with positive contents. It will make you stand out from the crowd and you will gain competitive advantage in the run for potential customers.
Inform, not impress
Big, dashing words might leave your audience with jaws dropped wide open, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into effective communication. Using a simple language will lead to a better understanding of your investment proposal, avoiding technical jargon will make it even clearer.
Keep your audience in mind
While you’re working on your story, always keep your audience in mind. The audience must be with you every step of the way: it’s the audience’s journey, not yours. Your job is to guide the audience along, making your proposal the logical destination.
“Sometimes reality is too complex, stories give it a form.” – Jean Luc Godard
Conclusion: people love stories
People love stories, that’s the point. And it really makes no difference whether the story’s about financial markets or equity funds and how they work, what really makes all the difference is how you tell that story.
A well-told story will pave the way for your business and show its full potential.
A well-told story will pick up the insight of the present and translate it into foresight of the future.
A well-told story will take the audience on a stroll, intimate and enjoyable, on a pathway defined by your words of choice.
A well-told story will be loved, no matter what. People love stories, and we love to tell them.
Do you want to know more about how finance and storytelling could go hand in hand? Find out what we’ve done for Fineco Asset Management and their Fidelity Sustainable Water & Waste Fund.
Starting from the recurring theme of the financial product – water and waste management – we built a narrative revolving around issues like environmental awareness and the challenges of a sustainable future.
Through words, visulas and videos the recurring theme turned into a story, a story that the audience could relate to, and the underlying message became clearer and more powerful.