A Look at Business Storytelling Skills, Plus Examples

Female presenter leading a meeting, pointing to data.
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Human beings have an innate fascination with storytelling. It begins early in life when parents captivate their young children with bedtime stories.

But storytelling has moved out of the bedroom and into the boardroom. It can be an integral part of an organization’s content strategy, and it can help individuals position themselves for workplace success.

What Is Business Storytelling?

Storytelling has emerged as a prominent trend in the business world as organizations look to enhance brand awareness and loyalty by telling compelling stories about their products and services.

Television commercials often use a story angle to position products and services, and companies tap the digital media with the hope of going viral as part of their content marketing strategy.

Storytelling and Branding

Weaving a tale is not just for businesses. The art of storytelling has become an important component of building a personal branding strategy as workers attempt to stand out in a tough employment market. Employees who develop a compelling storyline have a better chance of advancing within the organization and increasing their compensation. Positioning yourself within the framework of a story can be an important part of a performance appraisal and other documentation of your work.

Storytelling for Job Seekers

Additionally, storytelling is a vital part of virtually all phases of the job search. Workers who can communicate an interesting story about their career will garner more attention and support as they go about their networking campaigns.

Integrating storytelling elements into resumes and cover letters can help to paint a dynamic picture of achievement and overcoming obstacles and enhance the readability of documents. The key to interviewing is providing a hiring manager with concrete examples of how you made a difference at work. Storytelling is the most engaging and convincing way to convey proof that you have made an impact.

Even after the interview, your follow-up communications will be more effective if you can tell a brief story. You can emphasize how the interview experience spiked your interest in the job even more and then you can go on to convince the hiring manager why you are the ideal candidate for the job. 

Business Storytelling Skills

A - H

  • Avoiding negative characterizations of others when relating how you made a difference
  • Balancing the inclusion of convincing details with brevity when composing stories
  • Considering all academic, volunteer, and work contexts as possible story settings
  • Crafting stories with a beginning, middle, and an end
  • Creating a portfolio of work products which confirms your storyline
  • Defining what would appeal to your target audience
  • Delivering stories with a confident but modest tone
  • Describing challenges you encountered
  • Emphasizing teamwork in stories and giving credit to others
  • Emphasizing your actions and the results rather than using evaluative language about yourself (i.e., letting the story imply that you were wonderful without saying you are wonderful)
  • Establishing baselines for your job scenarios (i.e., what was the situation like before you intervened?)
  • Exuding excitement as you relate stories

    I - Z

    • Identifying the most important or bottom line outcomes for your department
    • Incorporating reports of recognition by bosses, clients, and others into stories
    • Informing key references about your storylines so their recommendations are more likely to be in line with your themes
    • Integrating how you impacted the bottom line into your stories
    • Integrating proof of your positive storylines into your social media platforms like LinkedIn
    • Modulating your vocal tone to enhance delivery
    • Producing shorter versions of stories for situations like networking events to capture attention
    • Quantifying impact and results whenever possible
    • Rehearsing the delivery of stories
    • Relating how your skills and qualities led to positive story endings
    • Researching the profile of an ideal candidate in your field
    • Utilizing the challenge, action, and result to structure stories


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