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.
Your message becomes the needed solution by framing your story around a problem. And thus, 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, solving 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.
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 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.
- 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 your audience 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 pitches, recruiting, data stories, and so much more.
To be that highly effective business storyteller, your Better Tomorrow Message™, must:
- Solve a Problem
- Be Memorable
- Evoke Emotion
- Be Relevant
- Inspire Action
Let’s take a look at these five characteristics. Following the characteristics are a variety of BTM™ examples.