The session of Fireside Chat: “The Social Power of Storytelling – Resonate and Connect” left a deep impact after I had attended the DBS – NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2017 Finale.

From (left to right), Ms Leona Tan, (Head of DBS Foundation), Mr Isaac Tay (Co-Founder and VP of Special Projects at honestbee), Ms Rebecca Lim (Head of Our Better World, Singapore International Foundation) and Mr Jayesh Parekh (Managing Partner of Jungle Ventures)

From (left to right), Ms Leona Tan, (Head of DBS Foundation), Mr Isaac Tay (Co-Founder and VP of Special Projects at honestbee), Ms Rebecca Lim (Head of Our Better World, Singapore International Foundation) and Mr Jayesh Parekh (Managing Partner of Jungle Ventures)

The session shared about how stories connect people together, creating an experience which resonates with others. Storytelling is especially important in the social enterprise context, the ability for one to be able to convince or persuade others on his or her business idea while at the same time, balancing between the social cause and the business solution for a call to action.

How can social enterprises then effectively harness the power of storytelling to persuade their key stakeholders – prospective investors, customers, beneficiaries, employees with an exciting business idea yet with a social cause that impact the heart of all?

Social enterprise needs to understand the target audience of the story that is trying to convey to. This is because through understanding the target audience of the story, it will then enable one to produce relatable content, and the usage of the right presentation and dissemination methods.

How to be relatable?

Social enterprise needs to understand the needs and wants of the target audience which would enable them to customise the content such that it will be relatable and able to connect with the target audience.

What should consist in the context? 

In addition, content should always consist of both quantitative (e.g. financial aspect) and qualitative information (e.g. explanation of the tangible or intangible social impact). However, the emphasis on each of them can vary, depending on the target audience. For instance, a Venture Capitalist will be more interested in the financials.

Which presentation style andissemination of stories is suitable?

The forms of presentation of the stories such as films, photographs, and text, as well as the medium in which the stories are disseminated can vary, depending on the target audience as well. For example, having a full article published on Facebook might be a good social media platform to reach out to the mass while a short post with photos and attractive caption on Instagram might be appealing to the youths these days.

When should the stories start and stop? 

Other than the content, presentation and the medium used for dissemination of stories, duration of the stories can be very important. This is because, in today’s society, people tend to have continuous partial attention and short attention span, therefore, there is a need for the stories to be short yet included all the information to capture the attention of the target audience.

What would consist of a good story then? 

6 aspects on a good stories

6 aspects of good stories

Here is an example of a good story with the 6 aspects which you may visit via here.

First and second aspect: Credible and Believable

This story was posted on Our Better World, the digital storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation.

Third and fourth aspect: Authentic and Memorable

This story is based on a true story with the use of emotional appeal, attempting to show others on how words people offer can warm the soul, continue to resonate, and take root in others even after many years. It is especially memorable as it may trigger the thought of those who had made calls to helpline before to inspire them to volunteer with Care Corner hotline or even other helplines.

Fifth aspect: Sharable

Heart-warming stories like this usually tugged the heart of many whom will be motivated to click “Like’, “Retweet’ and “Share’ button on social media platform such Facebook and Twitter and more without any incentives.

Sixth aspect: Relatable

Foreigners who reside in Singapore will be able to understand and relates to the story on how a listening ear could help in their circumstances when they are away from their home without their loved ones.

As you read this good story, may you not just feel warm and fuzzy nor just the urge to click the ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ button to share this amazing story, but to be one of the social entrepreneurs who used the six aspects to connect to the heart of the society via good story with your business.