Taking storytelling to heart can help you improve not only your brand story but also the stories you tell.
Have you ever felt that the story of your business would be a difficult one to tell? Maybe what you do is technical or complex?
That is the position that staff in GS1 Ireland found themselves in. GS1 are providers of global standards used by companies all over the world. They work in dozens of different sectors, ranging from retail to healthcare. Best known for the GS1 barcode that adorns virtually every product we buy in the supermarket, GS1 Ireland’s story was highly technical and a bit of a mouthful.
Story First: Death by Powerpoint
A number of GS1 Ireland’s team took on this challenge when they joined our ‘Story First: Death by Powerpoint’ course earlier this year. At All Good Tales we are passionate about the power of storytelling, but could a company like GS1 Ireland harness that potential to improve their communications and supercharge their organisation?
The Story First course teaches participants the skills needed to tell a good story. These techniques included identifying the beginning, middle, and end of a narrative. Participants learned about the key elements in stories like protagonists, antagonists, and the journey. The course also introduced ‘The Magic Slice’ and how it can help would-be storytellers to find the tales that their audience would engage with. By learning to use these techniques, GS1 Ireland’s staff were able to transform facts and figures into engaging stories.
Kevin O’Brien, Digital Marketing Executive with GS1 Ireland, was one of the first GS1 participants in our Story First course.
“When you come from a very technically orientated organisation it can be a challenge to communicate with a broader audience,” Kevin says, “it’s like you’re speaking a different language. The eureka moment for us was in seeing how fashioning our message into a story would make it so much easier for others to understand. Stories are something that are common to us all – the hero, the villain, the struggle, and the resolution.”
Practice makes perfect in the Speaker’s Corner
Having spruced up their presentation skills in the Story First workshop, GS1 Ireland team members decided to use the power of storytelling to improve internal communications. Their monthly Speaker’s Corner meeting offers team members a chance to give a presentation to their co-workers. Here they can tell the story of a particular project they have been involved in. “It has been a great way to keep our newfound storytelling skills polished,” notes Kevin, “and it’s had a real impact in breaking down some of the walls that can develop between departments. It has been the start of some important conversations across the organisation.”
— Siobhain Duggan (@sioduggan_GS1) March 15, 2018
Finding GS1 Ireland’s Magic slice with #BestofIrish
The Story First course challenges participants to find that ‘Magic Slice’. The stories that your organisation would love to tell and your audience would love to hear.
“I remember thinking that finding our Magic Slice would be the toughest part of the course,” recalls Kevin. “If you start talking to most people about barcoding and standards, the only tale you’ll be telling is a bedtime story. However, the course structure is really open and the atmosphere is so creative. I realised that our magic slice wasn’t focused on our standards, but on the amazing things people do with them.”
“People come to us for barcodes for their products before they go on sale. We’re in a privileged position to see some of the amazing things that Irish businesses are bringing to market,” Kevin says. “We are a part of making that happen, and that’s where our magic slice lies.”
#BestofIrish tells the stories of Irish producers and showcases their products. Combining vibrant product imagery and uplifting stories, #BestofIrish is storytelling gone social. It is a drastic departure from how GS1 Ireland traditionally told their story.
Here at All Good Tales, we believe that storytelling can help your team improve their presentation skills. It can also build their confidence and help your company grow. We loved working with the team at GS1 and seeing how our help has helped them create new company initiatives and tell great stories. We’d love to help your team in the same way. To find out more you can call Gaye on (01) 254 1845 to organise yours today. We also run courses that give you practical information on connecting with customers. For more information or to book your place, click here.