Business storytelling―how to segue into a story

September 7, 2017

Imagine if you walked into a business meeting where no one knew you and immediately launched into your content without shaking hands or introducing yourself. This abrupt start won’t set you up for success. In the business world, handshakes and introductions are rapport-building ways we connect before we get down to business.

Similarly, when using business storytelling, leaders I work with grapple with how to launch into a story. Sentences like ‘Let me tell you a story’ feel amateur and may send the wrong message to your audience. What leaders need when using business storytelling are story segues.

Christine Nixon, when she was Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, was masterful at this. She would share a PowerPoint slide that was dense with strategy points and then say, ‘For example, just yesterday, I was taking to a farmer named John in Gippsland…’ and then proceed to tell John’s story. Phrases like ‘for example’ or ‘to illustrate the point’ are good examples of segues. I also use ‘I would like to share…’ and then share the story.

You want segues that are authentic to how you normally speak, so they don’t sound forced or contrived. You also need to have a few segue sentences up your sleeve for variety. So, over to you, what are some story segues that will help your business storytelling shine?

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