How to Use Storytelling to Connect With Your Customers – Robert Kennedy III
Why is storytelling so important in business? And what to do if you’re not a natural-born storyteller (like me)? Well, the good news is that our today’s guest is the storytelling expert and he’s here today to tell us all about this powerful skill.
Robert is the Co-Founder and President of Kennetik Kommunications, a professional training company that helps business owners do a better job communicating with their teams, employees and customers. He is a serial entrepreneur that started his first business back in 2001. Throughout his entrepreneurial journey, he’s faced many difficulties and learned some great lessons that he’s now sharing with the world in his speeches. He’s an award-winning public speaker, corporate trainer, and author.
Robert believes that everyone has a story to tell and that it’s just a matter of discovering their signature stories and then delivering them with confidence. Through his training company, he teaches entrepreneurs to use storytelling to build connections and relationships.
In this episode of the Think Business With Tyler podcast, we talk about the power of storytelling and why it’s so important in business. We also discuss the four Cs of the storytelling framework that can help you appeal to your audience. Also, how to grab your audience’s attention with a powerful hook and why you will go further in your business if you make connections along the way.
If you want to learn how to communicate with your employees, partners, or customers more effectively, make sure you tune in to this episode and hear what Robert has to say.
💡 Name: Robert Kennedy III
💡 What he does: He is the Co-Founder and President of Kennetik Kommunications.
💡 Noteworthy: Robert is a serial entrepreneur, award-winning public speaker, corporate trainer, and author. His books include 28 Days To A New Me, 7 Ways To Know You Should Lead, and Find Your Voice: 28 Secrets To Help You Speak Up and Speak Out.
💡 Key Quote: “When you’re telling stories, that’s the purpose of to really create that emotional and mental connection with your audience. So I share in my sessions, a four-step basic framework that allows people to break down stories and then we add two additional steps after that to help people move to action on those stories. So when I talk about stories, it’s not just the Once Upon a Time, it’s how do you create a journey for your audience or people using a story framework?”
Storytelling evokes emotions and creates connections. Stories truly make the world go round. And the same goes for the business world. If you want to create authentic relationships with your audience and customers, you need to get better at storytelling. Robert explains why storytelling is so powerful. “When we hear the term storytelling, a lot of us feel or think I should be telling a story of my life, I should be telling a once upon a time, I should be telling you what happened at lunch last week when I was with my buddy at Starbucks, I should be sharing those things. And that is a part of it. Because the truth is, storytelling captures our imagination. It allows us to pay attention. It allows us to connect and relate in a way that information and facts and data just don’t. […] When you’re telling stories, that’s the purpose of to really create that emotional and mental connection with your audience.”
The four pieces of storytelling framework are context, characters, conflict, and conclusion. The four Cs of the storytelling framework can help you create an emotional journey for your audience through the power of stories. You start by introducing the context, where you set the stage for your story. Then, you introduce the characters, the people who are experiencing the story. The third piece is the conflict which is crucial in a story so all three of these together really helped to develop your audience’s case, the case for why? Why the audience should care about what you’re going to share next. The final part is the conclusion. “So you build up to that conclusion. Instead of selling the product upfront, you take your audience on this journey. To that thing, that is like, yeah, hallelujah. We made it.”
Unlike data, a hook always appeals to emotions. If you want to grab your audience’s attention and ensure they hear your story, you need a good hook. A hook is emotional, it creates an emotional connection with your audience. Robert explains the importance of a strong hook. “That hook is always related to a challenge or a conflict that your audience is experiencing. Or if we’re talking about a movie, it’s a challenge that the characters in the movie are experiencing. So you start with that hook and you’re like, Have you experienced this? Have you felt this? Is this something that you’re challenged with or you’re struggling with? Or it may not be a question, it may be a strong statement.”
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. One of Robert’s biggest tips for all new business owners and future entrepreneurs out there is to always accept help when they need it. You can’t do everything on your own because eventually, you’ll burn out. Robert says you should get resources and help as early as possible in your business. “I think the biggest thing is one of the lessons that I’ve learned along the way and it is really about getting help or accessing resources as early on in your business as you can. I think if I go back to my earlier businesses, some things would have worked a little bit better, not only if I sought mentorship, but if I accepted help from others or if I decided to ask questions and get more people, get some people involved in my business instead of trying to build and do everything on my own.”
“If you’re going to form partnerships inside of your business, there’s a lot of groundwork that you got to do. You’ve got to figure out how to connect and how to communicate with each other effectively. […] So I think in a lot of businesses where there are partnerships, those are some of the lessons that I learned and some of the considerations that I recommend for people. Have some really great conversations before you jump into the partnerships.”
“I think there are a lot of benefits to partnerships. I think, just like marriage, some of the best marriages work because there’s an area that one partner is weakened where the other partner kind of counterbalances and strengthens them. […] Partnerships are good and you have to have a certain level of self-awareness. What are your strengths? What are the areas that you need to have some improvement in or that’s unit support in and does your partner have that?”
“Your mind begins to jump into that space. You begin literally playing a video, you begin flipping through your mental Rolodex to find out hey, do I know anything about that thing, that place because our mind is always looking for some connection to some experience or emotion that we’ve had. And so when you’re telling stories, that’s the purpose of to really create that emotional and mental connection with your audience.”
“Some of that is really just watching and listening and doing some research and figuring out what gets your attention. I think all of us step over or we skip over the greatest resource that we have, which is ourselves, right? If we sit down and we watch TV, what grabs our attention? What do you pay attention to?”
“Not that you need to be a clickbait type of person, but if you start to study them and really figure out why are people clicking on this stuff, you begin to get a better sense of number one, the biggest thing is that the hook always appeals to the emotion. It’s not I’m not giving you data. You rarely do you see a hook where it says 48% of people smoke in the United States. And you’re like, oh my gosh, yes. I need to get the jewell, I need to get that. That’s just not you know how it works. A hook is much more emotional and it really connects with an experience that people have had or would like to have.”
“There’s a couple of emotions inside of curiosity. There’s fear inside of curiosity. There’s also […] fear inside of curiosity, and there’s also this heroism. I’m kind of looking for something to be great or something that I can apply that’s going to make me more amazing. So it’s like, going on an amusement park ride, going on this roller coaster?”
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