Storytelling has the power to tell us about who we are, show us what we value and communicate complexity in simple and elegant ways. The opportunity for businesses to use storytelling to communicate their own services better, and to be more in tune with their clients is huge.
At the Storytelling with WordPress workshop at the Hub on Wednesday, our aim was simply to help a group of small businesses get their stories online. The Hub is rich with a collection of adventurous, world-conscious souls who were open to new ideas and where they could lead them. Born out of a collaboration of two Hub members who just met, it was a perfect testing ground for our new ideas to see how they land.
As well as helping participants to gain an online presence, we went through some exercises to get them to understand their story better. This exercise asks business owners to imagine themselves for a variety of perspectives, not only helping them to understand their own situation, but that of their clients and the environment they share. With it business owners are given a wealth of insights to help them understand and empathise with the positions of their stakeholders. This depth is not just understanding, it is also feeling and experiencing as they might feel and experience. The journey gives a much richer base to begin telling their story and the ability to communicate on a deeper level: persuading and attracting clients not simply on a rational basis, but an intuitive, resonant one as well.
The seed ideas for the workshop came from the discipline of design. I do believe that this is one of the most progressive areas of human investigation: not just concentrating on its expansion, but its deepening also. How can we create experiences that give us an insight into what we care about? How can they communicate a sense of who we are?
In a small way, our workshop sought to tread the lofty trails already climbed by design. If it manages to get a few businesses talking more deeply with their clients – that is to say commune-cating – it will have been a job well done.