Storytelling is how humans have communicated for centuries. The ability to tell a good story is an important skill for employees and companies to master. Nis Frome, co-founder and head of experimentation at Alpha and Rutgers Business School alumnus (‘14), spoke to the MBS Marketing class taught by Mark Burgess on Thursday, February 28, 2019 about storytelling in his lecture entitled, “Storytelling to Drive Inspired Action.”
Storytelling is familiar to all of us, but when done right, it’s an effective way to drive inspired action. At Alpha, they’ve examined the dangers of only telling stories chronologically- where the journey and destination are already predetermined, and there’s not really a two-way conversation. When there is an intended outcome, the view of the audience prevails and allows the storyteller to reach the audience more effectively. “Storytelling is about telling the story from the listener’s perspective, and the most successful people usually flip the script to make this happen,” Nis said during his talk.
He emphasized that stories should not just be told to entertain, but rather to inspire an action that is connected to an objective. To connect to the audience, we must learn to speak their language, discover what they think is important, and prioritize this over what we may think is important. He explained how instead of pitching features, we should pitch outcomes. We should pitch opportunities instead of compensation. In short: validate the journey, collaborate on the journey, and drive inspired action.
Nis’ talk not only enlightened the class on Alpha’s mission, but it also opened up our minds to a different way of thinking and reaching a desired audience. As storytelling is becoming an increasingly popular industry strategy, being a talented storyteller can help you advance your career and company.