You’ve heard it before — storytelling resonates with audiences. But how to tell an effective story can be more elusive. If you make the story completely about you, your chamber, your date of inception, your events, etc., you are missing a golden opportunity.
As I’ve mentioned before, allow your members to be the heroes of the chamber story. This makes them feel good and improves your shares because people love to share a story that’s about them. It also casts you in the role of wise mentor. Your chamber is the Obi Wan to their Luke Skywalker.
How to Find Chamber Members’ Stories
Even after you decide to make the switch to casting your members as the heroes, you need to find the stories in your community. Sometimes knowing the types of stories that resonate with people will help you think of the embodiment of that story, much the same way that when reading fiction people cast an actor or actress in the character’s role in their minds. Popular stories include:
The Failure. We all know a business person who failed and then rose from the ashes. Other versions of this story include a person who worked for a company, was then laid off, and became extremely successful following his/her own passions. Chances are your chamber has helped someone like that.
The Unexpected Success. A board member of my local chamber has an extraordinary story. The owner of the company she worked for passed away. His children wanted nothing to do with the business. Without a desire to ever own her own business, she bought it because she hated the idea of her co-workers being unemployed. She kept the employee “family” together by transforming from her position in sales to new owner and today the company is doing well and all of her employees are still with her.
The Giver. Some people fall into their businesses because something touched their lives so profoundly, they can’t shake it. A local business owner in my community created a cleaning business where she offers complimentary cleaning services to anyone going through chemotherapy. Her mother-in-law, and dear friend, had cancer and she saw the struggles of maintaining a household. She formed a business around it and her dedication to helping these women goes beyond cleaning carpets but being there for them emotionally as well.
Chances are your community is ripe with these kinds of stories. Instead of the same old boring member spotlights, try telling their stories. People will be amazed by the strength and tenacity of your business community plus it will give them something beautiful and inspirational to focus on when there is so much sadness in the world.