How to Use Storytelling to Pitch Your Startup

by / ⠀Career Advice / June 2, 2022
Storytelling-Pitch

Storytelling has been a form of art since the beginning of man. Ever since we told stories through cave paintings, we have expanded our views on storytelling, learning how to perfect it. Storytelling can also be used in sales. In fact, it is a great asset to getting your pitch heard and even approved.

The integration of storytelling to pitch your startup makes it not only more memorable but also more personal as well. Below is a list of tips relating to storytelling. Now, this can be for a startup, a business idea, anything really. When using these tips, look at what would work best for your pitch.

Audiences Remember Storytelling to Pitch Your Product

Storytelling speaks to us on a personal scale. It goes through emotion, memory, visuals, and it stays with us in a different way. Using a story is what makes people remember you out of a crowd.

For example, if you wanted to open up a ball park. Tell a story from your youth about the fun you had playing catch with your dad, or hitting a home run during a summer night baseball game. These kinds of stories inflict a lot of emotions on us, especially over the analytic part of the brain.

Audiences Don’t Remember Data

If you went to a conference that had several speakers with a myriad of topics, how much of the data would you remember? What were they even talking about? Do you even remember their name? Now, don’t beat yourself up over the names or the data. Remembering all of that can be hard. Not only that, but if you are the presenter yourself, you also need to realize that they may not remember what you are talking about.

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When it comes to the pitch, get to your introduction quickly, or don’t bother. What you are selling is your pitch and yourself. Basically, throwing a lot of data around is going to bore people like they are back in their high school math class.

Storytelling Needs a Protagonist and an Antagonist

This refers to conflict. When watching a movie franchise like Star Wars, Marvel, or anything else, the audience likes to relate to the hero or the protagonist of the story. They enjoy projecting themselves onto that character. That’s where you need to focus on your storytelling to pitch your product.

You need to be honest, real, and most importantly, you need to be human. Everyone has gone through similar experiences in life: first jobs, dates, vacations. There is so much that you can relate to your audience.

So when you pitch, make yourself the hero who rose up through adversity and succeeded. Your antagonist doesn’t necessarily mean a super villain. The antagonist is whatever adversity stood in your way. A mean boss, a teacher, poor finances, a living situation, health, and so much more can also make people relate to you. Showing more of yourself, allows them to find an adversary by mirroring their lives to yours.

The Product or Service is Your Life

In storytelling, the hero often has a signature tool helping them through. Indiana Jones uses a whip. Luke Skywalker wields a lightsaber and uses the Force. Your product or service needs to be your lightsaber. It is the vehicle that will drive you to the road of success.

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Storytelling Provides Ways of Providing Info

As a child, it’s likely you swallowed horrible medicine for an illness and then down it with some sugar or a glass of water. Much like that, data is much easier to get down with a story. As you write out your pitch, look for ways to slip in data and info relating to your product or service. While doing that is a great way to help your audience, you also need to make sure it “tastes good.” Provide the data in an easy to read manner. For example, avoid large figures and instead make it into smaller, more palatable numbers.

Practice the Story

The only thing worse than a bad story is a story that is told badly. While you don’t need to memorize it word for word, you can at least get the important parts down. Give different variants of the story depending on the audience. Most importantly, make sure the story has a happy ending.

Conclusion

While these are just a few ideas, there are many other tips and tricks that will help with storytelling. But, as stated above, storytelling has long been an art form that goes back to prehistoric days. It is a highly effective tool, and as a business person, a story can help with selling. It makes it more personable and storytelling makes us react to the emotional parts of the brain. Storytelling will make your pitches go by more smoothly and you will be more memorable, leading you to more success.

About The Author

Tristan Anderson

Hello! My name is Tristan Anderson and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I enjoy being in nature and animals. I am also a huge geek who loves Star Wars and has a growing collection.

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