“once upon a time...es war einmal...; auch: früher einmal...Once upon a time…” With those English words, generations of storytellers have told generations of listeners about the legends of King Arthur, the adventures of Robin Hood as well as the tales of the Brothers Grimm and of Homer.
It’s a long way from the Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood to San Jose in California, but there is a storytelling connection. San Jose is in Silicon Valley, where Cisco Systems, the world’s largest hardware networking company, has its headquarters. At the end of June, people who use LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking company, noticed that Cisco was hiring a “Storyteller — Internet of Things”. The job location was given as “Munich, Bayern, Germany”.
Cisco says that the Internet of Things (IoT) will consist of 50 billionMilliarde(n)billion connected devices by 2020. As work on IoT projects picks up speed, much of the focus will be on infrastructure. Wireless networks and systems that to monitor sth.hier: etw. steuernmonitor huge loads of data from all the connected “things” are essential for developing the IoT backboneRückgrat, tragende Säulebackbone, and one of the companies in pole position to supply the hardware is Cisco.
Cisco’s rivals would like to get some of those contracts, too, which is why Cisco is working hard to market its products, and why it is hiring storytellers. Their job is to create stories that promote “brand, journeys, targeted personasNutzermodelle, die Personen einer Zielgruppe charakterisierentargeted personas”. Unlike the old days, when storytellers sat around the fire and used only their voices to entertain listeners, their digital equivalent is expected to use “blogs, white paper (UK)Weißbuch; hier: Publikationwhite papers, case studies, social-media posts, e-books, infographics and videos”. I could do that job. What about you?
Women find men who are good storytellers more appealing
Before you say no, consider this: in early July, The Wall Street Journal reported that “women find men who are good storytellers more appealinganziehendappealing”. Elizabeth Bernstein’s article “Why Good Storytellers Are Happier in Life and in Love” was inspired by a study in the journal Personal Relationships, which was based on research designed to measure whether storytelling in conversation made people more attractive. It did. The research also showed that a “good” storyteller told stories that were short and powerful while a less attractive storyteller “to rambleumherstreifen; hier: schwafelnrambled and used dull language”.
In other words, the qualities of a good storyteller are the qualities of every good business communicator.
Creating emotions through stories
The Wall Street Journal’s article ended by reminding readers that all relationships to grow oldhier: sich abnutzegrow old as time goes by, and the once-exciting after-work conversation is replaced by an automatic “How was your day, darling?” Psychologists to quotejmdn. zitierenquoted in the article say it’s important for people to keep telling each other interesting stories. Businesses need to do the same.
Stories create emotions that no PowerPoint presentation ever can
Companies such as Apple, Unilever and Cisco increasingly regard themselves as storytelling brands. Their leaders and managers are expected to tell stories about how their products and services have made life better for customers. These stories create emotions that no PowerPoint presentation ever can.
“Good storytellers are happier in life and in love,” said The Wall Street Journal. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” sang Bobby McFerrin once upon a time. “Tell Stories, Be Happy” could be the updated title of his song.