Wit & Wisdom Wednesday - Caldwell on Storytelling
“Many Southern writers must have learned the art of storytelling from listening to oral tales. I did. It gave me the knowledge that the simplest incident can make a story.” Erskine Caldwell
It is Wit & Wisdom Wednesday at Elarbee Media, and we are happy to be back in the South for the some much needed office time. If you read our blog regularly, you will know we are fans of Southern literature and of Caldwell in particular. Having been on the road in meetings over the past two weeks, we have come to realize just how much of our role in client relationships and new business development is actually dependent on storytelling.
In business, this is called a "case study", but in its most effective application it is actually just a story. The ability to convey a message to another person or group in a memorable and meaningful way can be the difference between success and failure. Dry data points are a great supporting items to follow up with, but rarely win the day.
The most effective business story telling I have seen in action is by a close friend from Texas. Like Caldwell, he manages to take a small mundane incident, and envelope it in a level of hilarious detail that makes it memorable. Almost exclusively, the stories are self-effacing, and that enhances their value to the audience. Someone that would poke fun of themselves is surely worth listening to. It builds trust. There is, however, always a gem mixed in with the humor that is the intended if subtle takeaway. Without realizing there is a "lesson" underway, the audience hangs on every word.
This Wednesday tell a story.