This is part of an ongoing series of posts by our Entrepreneur in Residence Kosta Ligris focused on guidance for the student teams taking part in our MIT delta v accelerator.
“Those who tell great stories rule the world” – Native American Proverb
As we wrap up week 3 of delta v our teams have just completed their first Board meetings. What an intense week — full of energy and productivity. It really is amazing how every member of the cohort has risen to the occasion in preparing and executing for this first discussion with their Boards. Congrats on this milestone – I am sure that it has been a valuable learning experience.
The Native American proverb quoted above is all over the internet and its quite appropriate to discuss the art, value, and importance of being a great storyteller after your first Board meeting.
This week gave me an opportunity to hear some great stories. I was impressed, but not surprised, at how many talented storytellers we have in this cohort, as well as how many interesting stories you have to share.
Telling your story is not just powerful; it is a true art and at the essence of everything we do in business. Whether you are recruiting talent for your team, raising money, or closing a sale, it’s all about telling that story. Sharing a story can also be personal, and helps to connect you with your audience, regardless of how many people are listening. Storytelling makes us vulnerable, approachable, and relatable to others. People want to do business with genuine people and with individuals that they like and connect with.
Scientific research “proves [that] storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention.” Celinne Da Costa writes “a business with a remarkable story can win over its audience and raise the perceived value of its brand” in her Forbes article “Why Every Business Needs Powerful Storytelling to Grow.” Take a minute and click the link to read all that she has to share.
I recall a podcast where Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz asked founders who were pitching him for risk capital to put the slides away and just tell their story. Andreessen invested in the people and he invested in the stories they shared.
I hope you all take some time off next week to recharge and reflect. But don’t forget to make some time for consumption. And I don’t just mean 4th of July cookouts.
Read a book, listen to some podcasts, or watch a TED talk. Reflect on what you have learned so far and find some meaning in your journey here at MIT. I’ll even give you the first suggestion: take ten minutes to listen to “How to speak so that people want to listen” by Julian Treasure.
And share some stories with those around you because as Robert McKee says “storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.”