Skip to main content

Most Stories Fail to Achieve Their Goals

Why? Because most stories have no clear message. Every variation of “My stories are boring” or “I can’t tell a good story” or “What’s the point?” boil down to one concrete reason. The story has no clear message. Without a clear message, the storyteller often meanders, shares disparate points, doesn’t follow a clear structure, and often seems to have no clear ending–all things that can be fixed with a little bit of training and coaching.

For more than two decades we have delivered training programs in nearly a dozen countries to nearly 40,000 people. We have read and heard thousands of stories. Without question, the majority of stories have no clear message. For you to achieve goals where personal and professional storytelling will help, you must, must, must have a clear message. This clear message is what we at The Chief Storyteller® call your Better Tomorrow Message™.

Short. Memorable. Inspiring. Impactful.

In all organizations, at all levels, we face universal workplace challenges such as:

  • How to inspire the right action from your teams
  • How to receive budget approval
  • How to secure board approval
  • How to close the deal faster
  • How to take leadership to the next level
  • And so much more

Stories turn these challenges into opportunities.

For more than 50 years, research shows sharing stories and experiences have a more significant impact on your audiences than simply presenting facts and figures. Stories make you more interesting. Stories make you more memorable. Stories make you more persuasive.

Stories make you more interesting. Stories make you more memorable. Stories make you more persuasive.

And unlike stories you tell at a party or barbeque, a story you tell in the workplace must, must… must have a clear message and that clear message solves your audience’s problem.

By framing your story around a problem, your message becomes the needed solution. And thusly, becomes very interesting to your audience.

For personal stories used in training, learning, sharing a lesson, etc., a clear problem frames your story around a specific behavior “change” you seek in your audience. Your story narrative inspires your audience to want to change. And the change is expressed through the lesson you learned from the story experience. This lesson connects your message specifically to the problem you are solving for your audience.

For organizational success stories used in sales, business development, and outreach, a clear problem frames your story around how your organization, its products, its solutions solved the problem for your stakeholders. And then by inference and implication, the solving of the problem in the past applies to solving the problem in the future for your stakeholders.

To ensure your message is highly effective and memorable, you want your message to be in the form of a headline, catch-phrase, hook, etc.

This is your Better Tomorrow Message™, your BTM™. Your BTM™ evokes the emotion you want people to feel during and after hearing your story. Your story’s Better Tomorrow Message™ summarizes the most integral components of the story and reiterates the message in 10 words or less. Why 10 words? Because you want your BTM™ to be like a headline in a magazine or newspaper or like an email subject line. Short. Memorable. Inspiring. Impactful.

Here are three examples of BTMs™. You can find more information on each BTM™ later in the blog post, in the examples section.

  • We are the champions of healthy living™, American Diabetes Association®
  • We help you buy knowledge a better way™, FEDLINK at the Library of Congress
  • We build memories™, Nassal

Your Better Tomorrow Message™ should be thought of as a universal message. A message your audience is already familiar with AND agrees is important to their personal and professional goals. Imagine your audience nodding in the affirmative as you share your story. When your audience nods in the affirmative, you have both touched their hearts and reached their minds.

Use your Better Tomorrow Message™ to strengthen arguments, speeches, marketing, sales/outreach, presentations, funding requests, elevator pitch, recruiting, data stories, and so much more.

To be that highly effective business storyteller, your Better Tomorrow Message™, must:

  1. Solve a Problem
  2. Be Memorable
  3. Evoke Emotion
  4. Be Relevant
  5. Inspire Action

Let’s take a look at these five characteristics.  Following the characteristics are a variety of BTM™ examples.

Are your messages, stories, and engagement materials helping to achieve your goals?  If not, contact us. Let’s have a conversation.

The 5 Must-Have Characteristics of a Highly Effective Better Tomorrow Message

Better Tomorrow Messages™ are all around us. Everywhere you go, there’s a BTM™. Whether it is the subject of an email, in a car ad, seen in tv ads, people use these creative and inspiring messages to convey something important to their audiences. Truly, Better Tomorrow Messages™ are everywhere!

1. Solve a Problem

Your BTM™ should solve a problem for your audience. A strong Better Tomorrow Message™ conveys a purpose. It should establish an issue or goal an individual or organization is looking to change or improve upon. Without an established problem, your audience wonders why they should care about your topic.

2. Be Memorable

Your Better Tomorrow Message™ should be a memorable lesson learned. Transition your lesson learned into something catchy, much like an “aha” moment. What you are trying to get across to audiences should stick with them. This message should match your brand or individual goals so that audiences have a consistent idea to remember you by. A Better Tomorrow Message™ that is well-remembered continuously attracts and influences audiences.

3. Evoke Emotion

Your BTM™ should evoke the emotion you want people to feel after hearing or reading your story. Create a feeling when people read or hear your message to enable audiences to connect to you, a brand, and/or an idea faster and with higher impact. The power of emotion drives the action or change desired. Your message should carry the same tone to audiences you want your brand to be identified with.

4. Be Relevant

Your BTM™ should be relevant to your audience. Your audience’s ability to relate to the message will enhance their connection to you and your organization. This will further emphasize why audiences should care and what they should take away from the message. A BTM™ tailored to your audience or organization will ensure it is on brand and has the power to influence.

5. Inspire Action

Your BTM™ should specify the change you seek in your audience’s behavior. This change is the anchor to your story. Tell audiences specifically how you want them to think, feel, and/or act differently. Ensure your Better Tomorrow Message™ is synced with what you want people should take away and do differently. A clear identification of how change can be achieved will enhance the power of your message.

Better Tomorrow Message – Organization & Success Story Examples

Below you will find a variety of Better Tomorrow Message™ examples developed by The Chief Storyteller® team for organizations from around the world. Since 2002, we have developed thousands of BTMs™ for government organizations, associations, non-profits, charities, fast-growing firms, and Fortune 500 companies. Please note over time, some organizations have changed their BTMs™ from what we have included below.

We create workplace happiness™

Organization: Transwestern Commercial Services
Read Success Story

By including “happiness” in its BTM™, people will automatically attribute Transwestern with that emotion. There is an age-old adage of “People do business with those they like, know, and trust.” This message talks to the CFO who gets better pricing, talks to the employees who get a better workplace environment, and talks to the CEO who ensures the CFO and employees are happy.

Application
Our team worked with Bob, the Managing Partner, to develop a BTM™ that embodied both Bob’s team culture and senior corporate leaders. Bob and his team build credibility instantly with their compelling elevator pitch. They grew revenue more quickly. And a fun fact, Bob changed his title on his business card to “Chief Happiness Officer.”

We connect successful professionals to brands people crave™

Organization:  Yum! Brands Franchising

Yum! Brands is excellent in summarizing its franchising operations and goals in its BTM™. It is clear it works to bring together individuals and brands to create great customer experiences. Including “crave” in the BTM™ is smart in connecting to the food industry to make it more memorable.

Application
Yum! Brands Franchising engaged us to develop a unified message, its BTM™. And then to ensure its new foundational message was synchronized throughout its System of Credibility™ — website, franchising materials, email and outreach campaigns, engagement scripts, organizational success stories, franchising development elevator pitch, and personal stories to build rapport and credibility.

We are the champions of healthy living™

Organization:  American Diabetes Association®

This BTM™ emphasizes the American Diabetes Association®‘s primary goal of achieving healthy living for everyone. This is something people can immediately relate to since good health is a concern for all of us. The BTM™ also helps establish the ADA as a leader in helping those with diabetes as well as identifying an end goal of helping patients live healthy lives.

Application
The ADA’s sponsorship team wanted us to develop a stronger, more compelling corporate sponsorship story that would help increase the amount of corporate sponsors, increase the amount of the sponsorship investment, and accelerate the contract signing process. We developed a new BTM™, elevator pitch, and sponsorship presentation as well as helped the team with practice and delivery.

We help you buy knowledge a better way™

Organization:  FEDLINK, Library of Congress
Read Success Story

Even a renowned organization such as the Library of Congress needed a BTM™ to attract more organizations throughout the three branches of government to use its FEDLINK services. Its Better Tomorrow Message™ of helping procure the right knowledge emphasizes the benefit of its services that come with faster, easier, and lower cost acquisition.

Application
We worked with the FEDLINK leadership team first on its ideal user profile (persona). Then we developed the powerful BTM™ and elevator pitch. We then culled through numerous customer accounts to develop a set of engaging and compelling success stories/use cases to include in its new capabilities presentation. The Chief Storyteller® team helped FEDLINK become the Federal government procurement Executive Agent for over $515M in information products.

We Transform Experiences™

Organization: The Companies of Nassal
Read Success Story

The Companies of Nassal (TCON) are known around the world for creating experiences. For more than 40 years with more than 3,5000 clients, they have helped create award-winning destinations, attractions, and experiences for leading global brands. Examples include theme parks, cultural exhibits, historic landmarks, museums, water parks, heritage parks, and themed restaurants. TCON needed one BTM™ for each of its three brands and one to bring them together.

Application
We spent time with the leadership teams of the various brands. We helped develop their ideal client profiles, Better Tomorrow Messages™, elevator pitches, sales presentations, customer success stories, and website content.

Here are the four BTMs™:

  • We transform experiences™ – The Companies of Nassal
  • We build memories™ – Nassal
  • We build culture™ – Lexington
  • We deliver destinations™ – Nfusion

We build healthier communities through partnerships™

Organization:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Read Success Story

CHANES, a specialty program in the CDC, targets community health problems in their BTM™. This organization forms partnerships with community leaders to create a healthier community. This BTM™ simply states to audiences, the CDC’s goal of helping communities to be healthier.

Application
We developed a unified set of internal and outreach communication materials, with a compelling Better Tomorrow Message™ for the CDC’s stakeholders around the United States. The materials improved confidence in the team when delivering the new compelling message. We also developed a new, simplified engagement process / engagement framework for the team to follow for building relationships with community leadership teams. The efforts helped the CDC secure several million dollars in funding for new and existing programs.

We are like a hotel for business™

Organization:  Carr Workplaces
Read Success Story

This BTM™ uses the power of a metaphor/simile to make Carr Workplaces brand clear and memorable. Carr Workplaces has a passion for delivering the ultimate customer service experience. This passion was turned into an immediately recognizable value proposition of “like a hotel for business.”

Application
We helped Carr Workplaces develop its BTM™, elevator pitch, and supporting digital and print materials throughout its System of Credibility™.  The sales team hit 300% of quota in the first month.

We help you breathe better™

Organization:  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This is an excellent example of a BTM™ solving a problem. The BTM™ clearly outlines the Environmental Protection Agency’s goal of cleaning the environment of contamination so that people can breathe better. The priority of people’s health and well-being is clearly outlined, making it relevant to audiences.

Application
We helped team members at the EPA in Research Triangle Park, NC develop more persuasive and more compelling internal and external elevator pitches for budget requests, cross-agency collaboration, strategic messaging, and partnering with state, industry, and Federal agencies.

We build futures™

Organization:  United Negro College Fund Special Programs

This inspiring message brings a sense of hope to those looking for a better life. The United Negro College Fund Special Programs uses its strength in providing students better opportunities for the future in this meaningful BTM™. Hope for the future drives people to take action and use its services.

Application
We developed the anchor message and supporting elevator pitch to help the UNCFSP establish, build, and maintain relationships between the diverse and high-performing minority education community and the private industry.

We make healthcare safer™

Organization:  Carrtech
Read Success Story

CEO, Sue Carr, is a seasoned pharmacist with decades of experience under her belt. She saw a (big) problem with healthcare today — unnecessary needle sticks associated with dispensing medicine. She came to us to simplify her complex technical and medical messages so that her idea for the FROG® (Filter Removal of Glass) would open doors to investors and partners. “Making Healthcare Safer” immediately conveys a message of safety, solving a problem for hospitals, pharmacists, and healthcare professionals.

Application
We worked with the Carrtech team on its sales and marketing materials and individually, Sue’s public speaking. Today, Carrtech has raised over $1M in investment. Sue has been recognized throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area for her innovative ideas, including the DCA Live 2021 New Power Women of DC Tech award. She has won multiple investment presentation competitions. And Carrtech was accepted into a variety of accelerators.

We are action architects™

Organization:  Netstrategies
Read Success Story

Netstrategies is a fast-growing media technology company that needed to differentiate itself. We worked with co-founders, Rodney and John, to rethink, reposition, and develop a sales-based story that immediately engaged prospects. “Action Architects” immediately conveys the message that Netstrategies is all about helping its clients architect better experiences that will inspire action in their prospects.

Application
Netstrategies increased average revenue per customer by 75%.

We help Third Sector Leaders be exceptional™

Organization: Chief Officers 3rd Sector (CO3) Northern Ireland

Established in 1985, CO3 is a leading membership-based organization that focuses on supporting, developing, and connecting Third Sector (charity) leaders in Northern Ireland. Its BTM™ resonates with its stakeholders because of their shared goals. People want leaders to exceed expectations for the greater good.  And CO3 clearly connects to doing good by creating a message that identifies helping charity leaders be “exceptional.”

Application
We worked with the leadership team at CO3 in Northern Ireland.  Our CEO, Ira Koretsky, spent several days on-site helping with its System of Credibility™. Ira started with the development of key personas for CO3‘s partners, members, sponsors, volunteers, and government partners. Ira collaborated on its new Better Tomorrow Message™, elevator pitch, website content, outreach messaging/script, target relationship plan, and more. Years later, CO3 continues to use the powerful BTM™ at the center of its System of Credibility™, to amplify its impact in Northern Ireland, growing its membership and sponsorship. And most importantly, amplify the impact of its member charity organizations in helping Northern Ireland be a better place for everyone.

We bring innovative medicines to patients™

Organization:  Brace Pharma Capital

Founded in 2013, Brace Pharma Capital is a strategic investment firm formed by EMS S/A (the largest pharmaceutical company in Brazil) and high net worth biotech investors. It invests in innovative, life-changing therapies for diseases with a high degree of unmet medical need and insufficient treatment options. Commonly referred to as orphan drugs, Brace Pharma Capital’s BTM™ relates both to prospective investors and prospective drug companies. Its target customer base wants to ensure it is afforded the best possible pharmaceutical care, and this BTM™ effectively communicates the prioritization of patients.

Application
We worked with the leadership team Brace Pharma on its System of Credibility™.  We first developed the ideal company investment profile, followed by its Better Tomorrow Message™ and elevator pitch. The team then designed the website layout and structure and wrote the content narrative. Lastly, we developed a high-impact investment presentation. Nearly a decade later, Brace Pharma continues to use the powerful BTM™ at the center of its System of Credibility™. Brace Pharma has successfully invested more than $300 M in more than 25 portfolio companies from around the world, with 6 exits.

We help you make your information work for you™

Organization: The Chief Information Group
Read Success Story

Mike, CEO of TCIG, wanted to capture his team’s passion and ideas and turn them into a story-centered, sales message that would immediately resonate with TCIG’s corporate and government stakeholders. TCIG positioned itself as a new type of services company, one that focused on business needs first then technology needs second. And they focused the benefits into a phrase complementary to its BTM™, a high ROI — a high Return on Information.

Application
TCIG quadrupled annual revenue based on just six months of working with The Chief Storyteller®.

Sponsorship has always been a good business decision™

Organization:  Americans All®
Read Success Story

Allan looked to us to create a development-driven and audience-centered message that inspired donors, partners, and sponsors to act.

Application
For the first time in 22 years, Americans All® has one easily understood and unifying message. We developed a succinct and must-read story from hundreds of pages of materials dating back to 1984. We developed a sponsorship presentation / capabilities presentation with supporting tools potentially worth millions in new revenue. Also, we created supporting materials such as website content, messages and positioning statements, solicitation emails, and more. The new messaging and materials throughout Allan’s System of Credibility™ started opening doors previously closed at several Fortune 100 companies.

Better Tomorrow Message – Personal Story Examples

The following are BTMs™ from personal stories told in the workplace. Some The Chief Storyteller developed, some come from Ira Koretsky’s students (he’s an adjunct professor teaching public speaking and storytelling), and some come from our own research where the BTM™ met each of the must-have five characteristics of a highly effective Better Tomorrow Message™.

Bring back child-like wonder™

Person:  Jeff Hoffman, TEDx speaker

Story:  Read personal business story

Think like a juggler™

Person:  Greg, Harris Company

Story:  Read personal business story

Stop blaming Steve™

Person:  Brene Brown, TED Speaker, Author of 9 books

Story:  Read personal business story

Be a clock changer™

Person:  Jeffrey Hayzlett, speaker, author of several books

Story:   Read personal business story

Let out the spark™

Person:  Paul Osincup, TEDx speaker

Story:  Read personal business story

Know Silent Bo’s communication culture™

Person:  Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map

Story:  Read personal business story

Cherish your 1,2,3™

Person:  King (student of Ira Koretsky’s public speaking and storytelling class)

Story:  Read personal business story

Don’t be the idiot in the red convertible™

Person:  Rohan (student of Ira Koretsky’s public speaking and storytelling class)

Story:  Read personal business story

Save your first starfish™

Person:  Duane Bailey, The Chief Storyteller® team

Story:  Read personal business story

Don’t stay in bed™

Person:  Greg

Story:  Read personal business story

Pass. Pass. Pass™

Person:  Ira Koretsky, CEO, The Chief Storyteller®

Story:  Read personal business story

Next time, ask Tanya™

Person:  Mike Powell, The Powell Group

Story:  Read personal business story

Are your messages, stories, and engagement materials helping to achieve your goals?  If not, contact us. Let’s have a conversation.

Photography Source:  © Copyright 2022, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
#storytelling #bettertomorrowmessage #chiefstoryteller