We can draw more than just one point of inspiration from Simon Sinek’s TED Talk and book, “Start with Why”. One of the easiest methods of drawing in your audience to an understanding of you, your business, or your startup is to explain why you are doing what you are doing.

  • How did you get to the point of deciding, “Yes, I can start a business to do this”?
  • How did you discover the problem you’re solving?
  • How did you validate the problem in the marketplace?
  • How did you come up with the solution?
  • How did you get your first customer?

Each of these is a story. To your audience, the best of which should be people in the marketplace who are living the problem you’re solving and people who have a financial stake if the problem can be solved, your story means the world! A great example is NewStory, and, yes, the name fits as well. Brett Hagler had gone on a mission trip to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake had destroyed the homes of thousands of people there. He saw first hand what it was like to live in a cardboard tent with crime, disease, and starvation abounding. That’s how he learned of and validated the core problem. He also learned about the problem with the then current “solution” to the real problem.

The Red Cross, and international nonprofit with billions of dollars in resources, had built 6 homes there in 5 years, mainly due to the pure bureaucracy of the organization. Brett and his co-founders knew there had to be a better way to raise funds and build sustainable homes for families in Haiti and elsewhere. So they founded NewStory, and built a hundred homes in 100 days.

Telling a story makes everything better. There’s a reason that fiction is so popular. People love a story, and when you’re pitching a business, your story is about how the business came to be. The story of the problem you are determined to solve will hit home with your intended audience. Had Brett just heard about this problem and not experienced it first hand, his story would not be nearly as compelling.

Nancy Duarte also gives a tremendous TED talk on how to tell your story. It’s not random. It’s not made up. There’s a scientifically based pattern for how to actually tell a story, once you have one to tell. What is the story of how your startup came to be?

We’re going to take one pitch – one story – at a time and dig deep into that pitch on each episode of the Pitch Practice Podcast. We’re launching the podcast in June, and we need your help to launch to #1 on iTunes “New & Noteworthy” category. Will you join our launch team? Click here to volunteer to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast when it launches.

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