The Power of Storytelling

I recently became a fan of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) of Kenya. And No! I have not become a criminal. I invite you to just visit the DCI_Kenya twitter page and you will see what I mean. The guy who manages this page has truly mastered the art of storytelling. I am sure I am not the only one who looks forward to reading the well-crafted stories of how our investigating officers deal with the criminals in our streets. I sometimes get the feeling that these stories are a little embellished but still, I keep coming back to this page day in day out looking to read the next solved crime.

This is the power of storytelling. When done right, storytelling can win hearts. In fact, an article by Harvard Business Reviewadvices business executives to ditch the PowerPoint presentations and instead learn to tell good stories. Telling stories invokes emotions and this is where the cracks of the matter is. It is the emotion your story brings out that hooks your audience to you or your business. In a business setup, corporate storytelling is done by the marketing and public relations experts whose main responsibility is to ensure the company always projects an ahaa moment with every piece of content created all with the intention of maintaining a positive public image.

When working with advertising agencies for example, one of the questions that they will ask you when preparing the creative brief is what emotion you want your customers to walk away with? This is because emotion is one of the strongest ways to get our customers to pay attention to your advertisement / communication. Getting the right emotion also implies that your brand can potentially establish a connection with its audience, which leads to a higher brand recall value and in some instances, result in greater shareability of the content.

When it comes to personal branding, the same applies. As you embark on the personal branding journey, one of the important questions that you must answer is around the emotional benefit you will create for others. How you handle your emotions, loosely defined as emotional intelligence will bring out your personality, your ability to develop and manage meaningful relationships as well as showcase your level of self-awareness. And weaving the right mix of emotion into your story is bound to win hearts.

It is those that tell the most compelling stories that pull bigger audiences. A story told from one’s personal experience and perspective easily brings out what one cares for and portrays what they are willing to sacrifice for another. This is what triggers the emotions. The more emotion you are able pull in, the more emotionally invested your audience becomes and this then makes them less critical and less objectively observant towards you.

Which brings me back to my newly found love for the DCI Kenya twitter page. Some of my identified emotions when I read through the daily escapades of our police force include amusement, awe, interest and perhaps a bit of love.

Am I less critical of the police force now? Probably so, especially considering the reported real-life experiences that some of them take you through when you visit the police stations for help. But the nuanced experiences from the shared stories on their page makes me believe that there is a bunch of them working for the good of the citizens. I hope one day, this same effort will translate to entire of the police force.

A question for you… Are there any emotions that were stirred up as you read through this piece today?

As Personal Branding gains momentum, I urge you to embrace storytelling. Just remember this one tip: The best stories are told when one mines from one’s personal experiences. No one else can tell your story better than you can and that is the best way for you to #Standout4Growth.

Did you get a chance to read our last article on How does your brand promise give the right reflection?

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