KISS your Small Business Story
February 2, 2015

KISS.  Keep it simple, stupid.

One of the more longstanding pieces of advice that is floating around is KISS.  It is timeless because people tend to over think things, and most people don’t have time for complexity.

Advice from IDEO puts storytelling in perspective, among the ideas to transform your story is The Bar Test.

“Bars are friendly, social places, sure, but something really important happens when you’re at a bar,” says Kahn. “You use really direct language. You make sure that what you’re saying is entertaining and engaging. You don’t quote tons of data. You don’t use overly corporate language — except maybe in air quotes.”

The key to a good bar story is engaging your audience, and that comes through simplicity.  As a terrible “bar storyteller” the additional details detract from your story, people get bored and look around the bar.  People always look at their phones.

So how does this impact your small business?

When telling your company story, keep it simple.  You need to engage your audience and entice them to come back for more.  Through active storytelling, then the potential customers (or investors) become paying customers (or investors).  They will ask questions to answer their curiosity.

And this is where the data and the details enter the story.  Now that you have an active and engaged listener, then the details will fill out the story in their minds, they will connect the dots and will captivate them.

To support the concept that simple stories sell, Contently published an article about best selling authors.

Apparently, my man Ernest, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning novelist whose work shaped 20th-century fiction, wrote for elementary-schoolers.

The takeaway, just because you can write at a high level, does not mean you should write at a high level.

I know that I prefer a 2 minute read with a clear takeaway than a 15 minute read with multiple points.  I often forget the entire article after an hour.

As your company grows, remember to KISS your story.