Inside the Chamber column: What’s your story? Share it at a networking event |

Inside the Chamber column: What’s your story? Share it at a networking event

Joni Bates

Part 2 of a four-part series. Part 1 ran on Oct. 5, 2015.

During the holidays I traveled back East to spend time with family. While sitting in the airport for hours on end, I spent a lot of time reading various publications. I found it interesting that countless articles referred to getting the word out about your business by “sharing your story.”

By story they were referring to accounts that you share with others about the successes and failures of your business. I am sure you have one, but have you crafted it into an interesting story that you can use as your one-minute elevator speech? You may also want to use a short version of your story to share when at a networking event where you may be speaking to someone for the first time.

One article I was reading explained that we need to tell our business story with an objective, goal, and a desired outcome in mind. By sharing your story you are trying engage your business clients or peers. If you tell your story effectively it can be used as a powerful business tool.

While attending your next networking event try some of these tips to share your story:

• During your introduction remember it is much more than just saying your name. Making eye contact with others in the group shows that you’re engaged in the interaction. Incorporating into your story a fun fact about yourself or a statistic about your business will make your introduction more memorable.

• While going through the process of writing your story remember to include the obvious: Who you are; what you do; the name of your company; what you and your company stand for. Make it fun and interesting.

• A well-crafted story can communicate your personal and business brand. If you have great storytelling ability others hopefully will remember you, repeat your story, and refer your business.

• When telling your story you can differentiate yourself from others by making your speech quick and witty. Write a draft of your story down then shorten it to bullet points. Compose those bullet points into two or three short sentences.

• Do your homework. Do you know who will be attending the event? After all of the introductions “wow” those in your circle with something that leads but does not dominate the conversation. Maybe your research, before the event, gave you some insight into another attendee’s story. This will help lead the conversation and assist them in sharing their story!

When I heard David Bowie had passed away I wondered what his story was and found that MSN referred to him as “The infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and persona.” They also referred to him as Pop Star that transcended music, art and fashion. He was well known for his work over many decades and told his stories through his songs. He was quoted as saying: “There, in the chords and melodies, is everything I want to say. The words just jolly it along. It’s always been my way of expressing what for me is inexpressible by any other means.”

I would really like to help you practice telling your story so you can share it more openly with others. So the next time we meet up I may ask “What’s your Story”? I’m a great listener and would love to hear it.

The chamber of commerce is a great place to network and share your story with other businesses. If you have a desire to be part of your community through a membership with an award winning organization you too can begin sharing your story with other chamber members.

Joni Bates is the vice president of membership development at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. Call her at 970-945-1514 for more information about joining the GSCRA and to share your story.

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