Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

How 2 Use Storytelling

The following post is from Sara Wu ’17, a Butler Venture Accelerator team member.

Our last #How2Tuesday  this past fall was Pitching: The Art of Storytelling. We had the honor of having Professor Lakshimi Balachandra host this session.

How 2 Use Storytelling with Professor Balachandra

How 2 Use Storytelling with Professor Balachandra

Speaking from her own VC background, Professor Balachandra identified/ranked the five most important factors an investor is looking for:

  1. Company has a good business model
  2. Company has good revenue potential
  3. Entrepreneur is trustworthy
  4. Entrepreneur is coachable
  5. Company has reasonable exit plan

Fundamentally speaking, investors have to TRUST the entrepreneur so they are willing to invest time, money and effort in the entrepreneurship in the long-run. Entrepreneur can develop behaviors of “trustworthiness” through: openness (accepting suggestions and feedback), name dropping (has a strong network) and coachability (can I work with this person).

Statistics shows that 93% of first impressions are based on non-verbal communication (how you sit/stand, your body posture, eye contact, or handshake), and all of these contribute to the storytelling, a skill that is so important that drastically changes the outcome of your pitch.

What is a story?

  • Has a beginning, a middle, an end
  • Has real characters, taps into human nature
  • Way of organizing information clearly – a visual illustration
  • Like a “connect the dots” game
  • Steps to revealing a final picture
  • Includes emotions and emotional power – creates connection to others

Key building blocks of storytelling:

  • Anecdote – sequence of actions – momentum
  • Bait – raising the question from the beginning – why follow the sequence of actions
  • Moment of reflection – the point of the story (why tell this story) – what is the meaning of the story (objective of the story)
  • Authenticity (be original, funny yet direct)

What should you do?

  • Check out “moth stories” for great examples and inspiration!
  • Think about using the tools of storytelling for your own rocket pitches.
  • As you incorporate storytelling – don’t forget to be authentic, and have the necessary content
  • Practice, practice, practice!

See you for #How2Tuesday later this month!

What are #How2Tuesdays?:
Want to learn something really practical to get your startup moving in the right direction? #How2Tuesdays are short, workshop style sessions meant to bring you very specific, user friendly instruction on some of the most important things you need to know how to do for your venture. Every Tuesday at 5pm in the Blank Center!