What is Business Storytelling?

By Nicky Clarke, SharpCloud

Simply put, storytelling is the delivery of information in an engaging, entertaining and interesting way. At its most basic it is the delivery of an idea from one person to another. Stories are part of our everyday lives. From talking about our days to the news to TV, radio and the books we read; they’re everywhere.

Indeed, stories are ancient; the art-forms, formats, methods and techniques having been handed down from generation to generation – some ending up as 140 characters or less on twitter!

Storytelling is hardwired into human nature. It’s at the very heart of how we interact with the world – and each other. To really understand storytelling, we need to understand what it is that makes a great story – what it is that makes an audience pay attention and, ultimately, what makes an audience want to retell and share a story.

It’s not enough to just want to tell a story. It’s not even enough to just have something to say. For a story to have the most impact it needs to be built with the audience at the centre.

There is a story in your data. That’s where it takes you to bring that story visually and contextually to life. With that in mind, here are some of the crucial elements that make up a great story and will help any budding storytellers on their way to success!

The 5 Fundamental Aspects of a Great Story

A Big Hook

Grab your audience’s attention immediately. An instant connection is vital. Think about the content, context and tone of your story. Once you have an audience hooked, telling the story is much, much easier – for everyone!


Keep it simple! Make it easy to understand, easy to digest and easy to remember. The audience will define how and what content you use –remember, it must be interesting for them (see Point 1).


Make the story about your audience. Everyone likes talking about themselves. Make sure the story is about them or about their world.


Be truthful. Honesty is the best policy.


If the story isn’t relevant to the audience, why should they care? Make sure you keep everyone on the same page by making the story relevant.

All of the above can be used as a simple and easy checklist for your next business presentation. Just because you’re talking business, doesn’t mean you can’t tell a great story.

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