Effective Storytelling for successful applications

What’s the difference between a successful and a failed pitch?

What’s the difference between a successful and a failed interview?

What’s the difference between a successful and a failed applicant?

It’s Effective Storytelling!


Power of Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool to develop sustainable relationships, convince your listener and sell your offering with maximum effectiveness. 

Storytelling doesn’t just convey data and facts with focus on the ‘What?’ aspects of your offering but also conveys contextual information by integrating ‘How?’ & ‘Why?’ aspects of your offering. Storytelling  touches the limbic part of the brain which is responsible for human behavior, feelings and decision making.

Storytelling empowers you by controlling the narrative and driving any conversation according to your strengths and end goal. Storytelling can make or break any situation. Consciously using storytelling in different spheres of your application can maximize your chances of success. Use storytelling in your Cover Letter, in your interviews and even while presenting anything anywhere.

Tips for Effective Storytelling

  • Keep it short and to the point

While telling a story, it’s essential to provide only the relevant context to ensure sticking to the point. This would help you to avoid drifting your listener’s focus and ensure keeping your story short. Going offtopic is a high possibility when you are putting your heart into what you are saying, so sticking to the point becomes even more relevant to ensure the desired objective with your story is achieved.

  • Clearly deliver a message

You are telling a story with a specific purpose and for making a point. So in the course of providing context and telling them how & why you did what you did, it is crucial to ensure that you don’t get lost in your story. Your story should clearly deliver the message that it was intended to deliver and it should answer the question posed or satisfy the described situation.

  • Proudly highlight your strengths 

Knowing your strengths by observing yourself and documenting them is essential for effective articulation at the right time. Being confident about your strengths is essential as it is clearly reflected in your verbal communication as well as your body language. Storytelling is a technique for selling yourself effectively and highlighting your strengths is a vital element of storytelling. So, while crafting your story make sure that you have integrated your strengths and differentiating factors smoothly.

  • Don’t shy away from using your failures to prove a point

Failures are the stepping stones to success and sharing your failures to prove a point is indirectly displaying your strengths. Admitting your shortcomings, meticulously working on it and improving yourself is a skill that is very important for growth and evolution. Telling your failure stories is a great way of signaling that you are ready to learn and improve, have already evolved in the past and have immense potential even in the future. 

  • Showcase your approach towards challenges

More important than what exactly you have done and achieved is how you have done it. Many questions and situations are pitched to understand your thought process, mindset and capability to comprehend & respond. So, always build up your story by talking about the challenges and struggles that you faced in your journey of achieving the desired goals. Your struggles and difficulties make your journey interesting, your outcomes memorable and improve you intrinsically as a person. So, talk about your challenges and the ways in which you dealt with them successfully to achieve your mission.

  • Communicate outcomes and value created by you

Your story is incomplete and irrelevant without the outcomes and value created by you. This will probably be the ending of your story and hence it should summarize the specific impact that your work created that is in line with the expectations of the listener. If possible, quantify your outcomes. Qualify your outcomes by connecting your work with the big picture of the project and organization. 

  • Include touchpoints to develop resonance between your story and listener 

Your story should resonate with the listener for a decision in your favor. Research well about the organization, listener, requirements & expectations. Explore the organization’s website, listener’s social media posts to understand their thought process, interests & broader vision. This is enough for gathering touchpoints that can be integrated in your story to make it powerful and relevant. This will help you to develop a special connection with the listener and ensure that you match their wavelength, frequency.

Example 1: During one of my projects at Accenture, we faced some serious escalations due to misalignment between the requirements and expectations in the client team. Consequently, we had to spend significant efforts and time reworking few analysis dashboards to ensure that the client was satisfied with our work. This resulted in spending extra hours even on weekends. This demanded immense dedication and flexibility. The situation also generated learnings for efficient handling of different stakeholders and upfront clear expectation management to ensure effective project delivery.

Example 2: I have worked in 6 different projects across different countries and industries covering telecommunication, industrial manufacturing, luxury goods manufacturing industries in a short span of 2 years. I was responsible for leading the technical delivery of projects along with internal and external stakeholder management. Owing to my exposure to innovation management during my masters, I also brought in new and innovative approaches at work instead of just following the traditional set methodologies and following the status quo. I also drove the global process mining community communication at Accenture consisting of 300+ process mining enthusiasts across the globe. This enabled me to connect, collaborate and network with the larger process mining audience at Accenture.

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