Business storytelling techniques are like bicycle skills

storytelling skills perth

Someone told me that he’s too old to be learning new storytelling techniques for his business. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” he said. I told him that’s all bullocks!

You see, he was asking me for some tips on how to write a booklet for his clients. Like I told him, his writing style – like that of many other business owners – is way too formal. More formal than some financial reports or terms and conditions I’ve edited.

His content is more like a journal article published to impress academics! I also had to look up a few words and I could imagine how frustrated his readers could get, especially those whose first language is something other than English.

And you know, whenever I’ve seen content this formal, I always wondered if it’s written by someone who has worked for far too long in corporate, accounting, academic or teaching. In his case, this gentleman used to be an office manager.

Some people find it hard to follow this type of formal content. This is especially true when reading on a mobile device while on the go. Wouldn’t you agree that you prefer reading content from business owners who have a more storytelling flare in their writing?

That’s the writing style that tends to keep people more engaged.

When I talk to people about using storytelling on their business blogs or annual reports, often – like with this gentleman I was talking to – they say it’s “too late” to develop new storytelling techniques. My answer? “What? Are you kidding me?”

If it’s never too late to learn a new hobby, learn how to cook a new recipe or how to play a new sport, then it’s never too late to learn a new writing technique.

I don’t believe in “too late”. I believe any business owner can improve their skills at least by a little and regardless of how sophisticated their background or lifestyle.  Learn new tricks, I dare you!

I like to think that storytelling is a lot like riding bicycles.

Think about it, once you learn the basics – like how to balance and pedal – it’s almost impossible to forget those skills. And if you continue to ride a bicycle without caring to improve your riding skills, you’re just a guy or woman riding a bicycle.

If you were to take riding to a whole new level and master various tricks, perhaps balancing on one wheel or spinning off a skate ramp, then you’ll be better than the other riders who continue to look boring.

In the same way, you can improve your storytelling techniques.

[themecolor]So, how about you?[/themecolor]

Do you believe it’s too late to boost your storytelling techniques? Let me know in the comments.

Original image (modified) by Peter Huys

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