• open panel

Chris Brogan on Storytelling for Business Building


by Kelly Vandever

I ran across the brilliant Chris Brogan being interviewed for a website called OnTrackTips.com.  The host, Jason T. Wiser, was a little chatty at the beginning of the video.  But hey – he has every right – it’s his show!  But Jason goes on to asked some masterful questions of Chris and as always, Chris gives some insightful suggestions.


See the whole interview here with the complete script.

Or watch below…

Here are a few of the take-aways that I’m betting you’ll find beneficial when it comes to story telling for business.


“Business is about Belonging”  – Chris Brogan

Think about that “business is about belonging” in the context of being an organizational leader.

How can you help your employees feel connected to the mission of the organization?  How can they feel like they belong so that they want to make a difference?  What stories can you tell?   How can you be vulnerable with them?

Think about that “business is about belonging” when it comes to your clients?

What’s the story that tells how they are part of a movement?  That they’re one of the cool kids?  That they are otherwise awesome and brilliant for choosing you or choosing your products?  How can they be part of the “in” crowd?

Make the Buyer the Hero

When you’re telling stories about how your business helps your clients, are you making yourself the hero?  Or the client who hired you?

Make the client who hired you the hero.  They were the ones that saved the money or increased the business.  You were just a tool they used.  (And I use tool here in the best sense of the word… honest, I’m not calling you a tool ;0)

Let the Audience Fill in the Blanks

Tell your story briefly.  Let the audience fill in the blanks.  This helps the person see themselves as the person in the story and they’ll connect in a more meaningful and emotionally way.

To Paraphrase from Carmine Gallo’s book Talk Like TED…

For stories to make an impact they need to be emotional, novel and memorable.
Don’t shy away from the ugly and unique.  Let people connect and remember.

See Carmine’s book for more information.  It’s one we recommend too!

Some of my Favorite Moments of the Interview…

About 10:35 – Business to Business – Like Robots are Buying and Selling Things

Chris (humorously) points out that B2B is still selling to people and provides examples.


Around 11 minutes – An Example when Chris Was a Hero in his Old Job Because of What Bought

As he tells the story, imagine how he felt when he lived it.  How could you help your client feel the same way about her decision to buy from you?


About 12:00 minutes – Series of Super Question from Jason — Does Everyone Have a Story to Tell?  Does Everyone Have an Interesting Story to Tell?  What If You’re Not a Good Storyteller… How Do You Tell an Uninteresting Story?

Be sure to listen as Chris answers those questions!


About 14:30 – Do You Sometimes Play Brain Surgeon or Super Hero?

Funniest line in the interview IMHO.


Storytelling in Business Is Here to Stay – Because It Works!

Don’t get left out of the game.
Develop your own stories for business success!


Need Help Finding and Developing Your Stories?

Contact Kelly at 770-597-1108 or email her at Kelly dot Vandever @ SpeakingPractically dot com.  Let’s see what we can figure out together!







Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.