The Speech Wiz asks, “Do you know what the 3 stories are that every executive must be able to tell?”

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"If you've heard this story before, don't stop me,
because I'd like to hear it again."
Groucho Marx

Once upon a time there was an idea that struck a very eager entrepreneur as the basis for the creation of an amazing enterprise. As time passed, this visionary’s dream began to generate amazing products and services that not only changed the world, but the way the people who used these great products and services began to see themselves. One user of this company’s fantastic, revolutionary, and cutting-edge technology transformed itself overnight into a dynamic, global leader in people to people commercial exchange and a paragon of social action and responsibility.

There are no names to put to this story. There is really no need to. Because, whether the facts are real or imagined, the elements of this story are essential to the culture, growth and sustainability of every business. The stories within this larger epic are the three basic stories that every executive must learn and be able to tell with unbridled enthusiasm, humility and sincerity.

Do you know the three stories that every executive must be able to tell?

Allow me, please, to share some insights with you regarding the three stories and how you can use them to promote yourself and your business.

First, what are the three stories?

The three stories every executive must be able to tell are:

  1. The Origin Story
  2. The Product Story
  3. The Customer Story

Let’s look into each one and see how it might best serve your needs.

THE ORIGIN STORY

Origin stories are tales of passion. They ignite the imagination of the listener and ask them to surrender their attention to the details of a rise from nothingness to established existence. Some origin stories are about unlikely partnerships uniquely forged upon a spark of genius. Others portray courageous visionaries steadfastly pursuing a dream from a garage or a dorm room.

Whatever story relates the foundational moments of your enterprise, as an executive, you must learn how to embrace it, retell it and infuse it with a passion equal to that of the originators in your story.

You must be ever mindful of the many audiences a good origin story serves. Origin stories can inspire investors, recruit top talent, establish a solid ground for a longer relationship, and provide the fundamental core behind a business’s culture and its proud traditions.

Without exception, the telling of the origin story is a primary duty of every executive from the middle to the top and back again.

THE PRODUCT STORY

Once the purview of marketing and public relations, the proliferation of social media into business marketing channels has enabled all executive players within an enterprise to relate the value, features and benefits of every product in the line.

Behind every service or product is the story of why it exists, how it came to be and what unique qualities justify the loyalty of consumers or end users. The product space is crowded in this arena, (social media) where the best, boldest and cleverest grab the lion’s share of the bandwidth shared by readers and raters for shoppers and buyers.

Today, people exhaust all avenues to uncover the good, the bad and the ugly of a product before making their “buy” decision. An artfully crafted and well told product story can have enormous effect on cementing a product’s ranking in search engines, blogs and other aggregators of opinions and reviews.

As an executive, you must know these stories down to the deepest detail. You must be able to recall them with enthusiasm and purpose. The product story is an incredible opportunity to relate value, innovation and excellence in a single experience.

THE CUSTOMER STORY

Whether you read or hear a review from a customer, it has real bearing on your perception of a company and its products. The customer story is a powerful way to relate to prospective customers the deep levels of satisfaction your company and its products have achieved.

Many executives ignore this fertile ground of storytelling, failing to understand its powerful role in breeding new customers and retaining current ones as well.

A well told customer story is a powerful testimonial bearing witness to the passion, promise, and reliability of doing business with your organization. It extends beyond the performance of a single product or products to reach the much more significant value of a relationship built on trust and fidelity. Every executive should have a briefcase (or backpack) full of customer stories suitable for sharing with a vast array of audiences.

THE STORY YOU HEARD BEFORE

As Groucho Marx quipped, “If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again." As an executive storyteller, you will. Likewise, you will become used to telling these stories and yearn for the chance to do so at every opportunity. The telling must never be done rotely or robotically. Instead the telling of these stories should be fulfilled by those within any organization with a high degree of passion and the honor it bears.

An executive telling any of the three stories, The Origin, The Product and The Customer, should never tire of the unique opportunities they afford to build, buoy and bond a relationship for the betterment of the served and the server.

I deeply appreciate your support as a reader of my blog and I eagerly welcome any comments on this post or suggestions you might have for a future blog on a topic near and dear to you in the comments section below. As always, please feel free to share this post with a friend or colleague.

To Your Speaking Success,
The Speech Wiz