Everyone is in the business of telling stories. We tell stories when we market our services, build strong brands, raise funds, and so on. The quality of our storytelling affects the success of meeting our goals.
Many businesses and brands have great stories to tell, but they’re not telling it right. According to Muse Storytelling, determining the “why” of a story is crucial. What’s the reason you’re telling your story? When the purpose of a story is clear our story becomes clear as well. When it isn’t chances are it’ll be hard to make our story stick.
A sense of purpose is effective because it inspires people into action. Without purpose, it’s difficult to draw people to what you have to say. So if we want to tell great stories, we need to make your “why” clear in our storylines. Here are three guiding questions that will help determine and communicate the purpose of our stories.
What’s the struggle we’re trying to overcome?
Most if not all purposes start with a struggle. Conflict can either paralyse us or propel us to action. We have a strong sense of what the meaning of our story would be when the conflict is clear. We communicate our why a whole lot better when it’s framed within the presence and reality of the challenges we’re trying to overcome.
What value do I want to give to my audience?
There’s an undeniable attachment between a sense of value and purpose. Telling people why we do what we do has a lot to do with the value we want to bring to our audience and to others. Brands make the mistake of not offering value up front to an audience. We hold it off until they take action, purchase or buy into our cause. We need to be willing to extend our hand outward much early on and provide value off the bat.
What do we benefit when we hit the goal?
Meaning has to do with struggle and value. There’s a third element to a purpose and that’s reward. At the end of the day, businesses and organisations always work towards a reward or goal. That goal could be a certain sales quota, a cultural or political struggle ended or a huge community need to be met. Whatever it is, we gain a strong sense of purpose when we know what’s at stake and what we can gain if we play our cards right.