I did a 4Sight last week and I received fantastic feedback. People found the content interesting, which was wonderful, but people also said they could tell I was a storyteller. I set the scene and drew them in, and they stayed with me until the end.
I was so flattered by the kind words, and then it got me thinking. I was delighted that everyone liked the content of my 4Sight, but it was how I relayed it that received just as much praise. We all tell stories, but telling a story in the right way makes all the difference.
I write novels - I’ve been writing all my life. Putting together stories is the most natural thing in the world to me. But I know it’s not as easy for others. I thrive off a blank sheet of paper, but I know others recoil. I tend to write drafts of content for my clients and then they are very happy to edit it to suit their needs. But it’s starting it in the first place that they find difficult.
If this sounds familiar; if you’ve ever struggled with that blank sheet of paper, then here are my top tips on how to tackle writing for your business:
- Before you even think about writing one word, have a very clear idea in your head of why you’re writing it and what you want to say. What is the point you’re trying to make?
- In no particular order, bullet all the key points you want to include. Five or six is plenty, unless you’re writing a book
- Now put the points in order of importance
- Now write it. Don’t think about it, write it. Don’t worry about how you’re going to introduce it, just blast down what you want to say, making sure you cover all your points
- After a short break, go over what you’ve written and edit it. Edit it so you end up with a piece that concisely walks your readers through each of your points, one by one. Keep it structured, don’t waffle. If you’re jumping through your points, it’s not going to work. Also, don’t put huge gaps in between your sentences and keep it simple. The only way to draw people in is to make everything very easy to read. That means everything needs to look right and flow right
- Now add in your introduction telling people what you’re going to tell them and why, and sum up your thoughts as a conclusion. And if it’s a marketing piece add in a call to action
The key is to make it easy to read. If at any point you’ve included something that doesn’t aid your main point then delete it. If the flow is clunky and you have long, confusing sentences, then make your points shorter and easier to digest. Short, sharp, well structured and interesting pieces will grab your audience far more than a long waffle.
You may have a lot to say, but if it’s a business story then it’s marketing. Hook them in with the highlights and get them to contact you for more.
If you’d like any more advice on storytelling, either for business or pleasure, I’d be happy to have a chat.