The 2 Things Great Business Stories Have!

What are the 2 things great business stories have no matter if you share them on your website, in sales calls or within presentations?

Great business stories are living assets that everyone can use to learn, teach and/or build relationships. And it may surprise you what these wisdom-packed, brand-building content marketing tools should always include.

It’s not facts and figures… and it’s not testimonials (although testimonials can be good if used well)! To do their job well, great business stories should have both emotion and suspense in order to feed the inquisitive nature of readers/listeners.

Why Emotion and Suspense?

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Even corporate clients make decisions based on emotions (there – I said it out loud). Emotions may influence decisions only a little… but they do influence. For example, want, fear and pride are three strong emotions that can influence behaviour; let me show you what I mean. Lets say you have a corporate client/prospect. Do they want to grow – to gain more market share? Do they fear the possible missed opportunities if they do not purchase XYZ? Are they proud of their (personal or corporate), reputation as an innovative leader?

A clients’ emotional and business response to a story can be an important part of your success… and you don’t even have to be present. For example, after reading some of your business stories a prospect can actually short-list you as a provider before you ever meet.

Personal and corporate pride were huge triggers for Steve Jobs.

Suspense is important in a business story because suspense keeps your audience entertained and therefore interested. People like things like crisis, conflict and tension… and they long for resolution/balance.  If you can create suspense around a crisis, your audience will stay hooked to find out how it was resolved.

Bruce Speaking On Global TV about Millennials

Bruce Speaking On Global TV about Millennials

One way to create suspense is to encourage your audience to work a bit. If the answer is going to be C, then give them A and then B… and then provide them a moment to get to C on their own. One added benefit of holding them in suspense is that you may learn something based on how your audience resolved the challenge. For example, if they arrived at the answer D:

  • How did they get to D – what variables got them there?
  • What does D mean to them – personally and professionally? 

Any resolution that they come up with on their own can provide valuable information to you in a sales or training environment.


There is always going to be more than one way to tell a story and, like with a great painting, how someone interprets a story will depend on their personal and professional knowledge, experience and needs/objectives. Nevertheless, it is your role as a story-teller to get your audience excited and keep them interested.

Great business stories grab your audience and best of all, people retain stories far longer than facts and figures. So, have you built your library of business stories yet?

Happy story creating and story telling. 

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

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I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

One Response to The 2 Things Great Business Stories Have!

  1. Shelley says:

    I love this!I hope you are getting amazing response. It is such a unique approach to something we do so mindlessly.WOW

I’ll enjoy reading your thoughts and your experiences.

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