A New Organizing Model for Business Messages





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Published on Sep 17, 2013

What's New in Teaching Business Communication? A New Organizing Model for Business Messages -- Expert Speaker: Courtland Bovee

Storytelling might seem like an odd subject for a business communication course, but narrative techniques can be an effective way to organize messages in a surprising number of business situations.

Storytelling can also be used for so many things—from training employees to enticing investors and customers. Storytelling is such a vital means of communicating that it's hard to imagine one's career going anywhere without the ability to tell a story.

Fortunately, students have been telling stories all their lives, so narrative techniques already come naturally to them; now it's just a matter of adapting those techniques to business situations.

Students have also been on the receiving end of numerous business stories. Storytelling is one of the most common structures used in television commercials and other advertisements. People love to share stories about themselves and about others, too, which makes social media ideal for storytelling.

Many companies now use Facebook's timeline feature to create visual stories of their founding and early years.

Entrepreneurs use stories to help investors see how their new ideas have the potential to affect people's lives (and therefore generate lots of sales). Stories can be cautionary tales as well, dramatizing the consequences of career blunders, ethical mistakes, and strategic missteps.

A key reason storytelling can be so effective is that stories help readers and listeners imagine themselves living through the experience of the person in the story.

Encourage your students to consider adding an element of storytelling whenever their main idea involves the opportunity to inspire, to persuade, to teach, or to warn readers or listeners about the potential outcomes of a particular course of action. Your students can learn the skill of storytelling from textbooks by Bovee & Thill. No other business communication texts on the market cover storytelling as an organizing model.

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