Stories are magic. This might sound like an overstatement at first, but there’s an inexplicable effect that stories have on conversations and our sense of connection. And it’s also why storytelling has become a focus for business leaders and marketers.
There is a lot of research out there that explains the power of stories. It boils down to the wonderful capacity stories have to create shared memories. What does this mean? In short, when we tell a story to someone, their brain reacts as if they are reliving the same thing. A story can help make our communication more predictable and easier for brains to digest. Consumers are so familiar with stories that they immediately recognize the pattern and it serves as a fast track for our ideas.
My guest today, Melissa Reaves, draws upon her 20 years of tech sales, marketing, branding and professional acting to teach her clients and students how to make presentations genuine, authentic and memorable. Audiences lean in and wait for the next sentence, fully engaged and wanting more. Ready to learn how she does it?
Listen in to this episode as we unpack some of the storyteller’s “tricks of the trade” which will allow you to captivate, motivate, and inspire your prospects and customers. This is a good one! ~Pia
About Melissa Reaves
Melissa Reaves is a Seattle based storyteller, a professional improviser and storytelling coach for executives and entrepreneurs. She founded Story Fruition LLC after noticing that founders were lacking stories in their pitches.
“Storytelling is an essential business skill, ” she says and why she devotes her energies infusing more leaders to utilize the power of storytelling to enhance their success. Melissa is currently working on her book, What’s Your Story Fruition? which will highlight the tips to create amazing stories for the business world.
Story Fruition offers group workshops, 1:1 coaching, and keynote coaching for special events.
In addition to Story Fruition, Melissa is the primary pitch coach for Founders Live and Seattle U’s Business Plan Competition, and guest lecturer for Seattle University. She coaches award-winning entrepreneurs all over the world.
Melissa’s own storytelling has been seen at several The Moth Story Slams (including winning), Risk! Podcast, National Storytellers Network, NAMI, Fresh Ground Stories, Ignite Seattle, Speak Up!, Unexpected Productions, FLASH improv storytelling, and a story contributor on NPR. She’ll be featured on STORIES FROM THE STAGE on PBS this Fall 2021.
Melissa is also the producer and director of Melanin Stories Matter, a storytelling show that highlights and amplifies the voices of Black, Indigenous and People Of Color’s stories at a time when we need to hear them more than ever to encourage anti-racism.
Highlights from the Conversation
- Why Storytelling?
- Melissa’s story of how she was drawn to help business leaders tell their stories.
- Stories can “show” the problem and solution in a way that engages the audience.
- Storytellers have a lot of power, and a lot of obligation.
- Telling stories helps your prospects and customers remember you, your brand, and your offer.
- The setup of the story and identifying the key moment that sparks the narrative is key.
- The details will help the listener follow the story.
- How to stay “out of the weeds” and tell so much you lose the listener.
- We are all gathering worthwhile stories all the time.
- Put together a “library” of stories your entire staff can tell.
- Customer case studies and stories can be amazingly effective.
- Stories help create balance within the brain.
- Founder’s stories help humanize the business and create connection with customers.
- “Story mining” exercises to prove we all have stories to tell.
- How to connect with Melissa!