My creative writing professor in college once said, “Build a narrative. Show; don’t tell.”
By this, he meant that in order to connect with an audience, you had to communicate in a manner that transcended facts. Create purpose. Use imagination. Appeal to emotion. Essentially, be a storyteller.
Not too long ago, I came across a post by entrepreneurial advisor Martin Zwilling, a blogger and contributor at Forbes.com. He wrote a piece titled “Entrepreneurs Who Master Storytelling Win More,” where he talked about the power of effectively communicating one’s value proposition to customers.
Appeal to Others
Reading the article I thought about how this can also apply across the spectrum to your own physical therapy practice or independent medical practice. As a health care entrepreneur, it’s important that you communicate well with your clients, potential clients, partners, and members of your team. By simply revealing who you are and making yourself relatable, you can appeal to other people’s values and emotions and find common ground with them.
“Most people care the most about the things that touch, move, and inspire them,” Zwilling wrote. “They make decisions based on emotion, and then look for the facts that support these decisions. Thus, it behooves every entrepreneur to learn how to craft stories from their personal experience, and the world at large, that make an emotional connection, as well as tie in the facts.”
Share Your Story
To be a great storyteller, you can paint a picture of your practice and share a little bit about the following:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Where your values lie
- Why your work is meaningful
Your stories can help you engage and interact with your audience in a special way, and it can inspire other individuals to follow their own path as well.
“The most effective story material comes from firsthand experience, infused with your personal feelings and emotions,” Zwilling wrote. “If you are telling a story you don’t believe in, your audience will sense it instantly. The good news is that they will pick up just as quick on your genuine enthusiasm and conviction.”
Yes, the facts matter, but engaging with your audience matters, too. Let your stories shine while painting a picture of who you are and illustrating what your practice can offer. Be the storyteller others want to listen to and hear more from, just by being you.
Stay tuned next week as we dive in to another personal reflection for PTs.