Business storytelling group starts in Oxford

Storytelling is widely acknowledged as one of the oldest forms of human communication. Now a group of Oxfordshire businesspeople are working together to use storytelling as a way of navigating the difficult business conditions in pandemic Britain.

The storytelling initiative has brought together people from diverse sectors and backgrounds who share a similar objective: to optimise the way in which they use storytelling to explain complex ideas, gain trust and ultimately grow their businesses.

The initiative is the brainchild of Oxfordshire sales coach, Paul Essery, and Oxfordshire Business First chairman Frank Nigriello – the pair who developed and lead the long running BIG Gig innovation events.

Essery, who is a director of Oxfordshire Business First, had been running a series of “movie nights” for clients during which a series of well-known films about business and sales were used to explore ideas. “It occurred to me that regardless of the quality of the film, the story often revealed more about the sales process than any number of books you could read,” he said.

“I had a chat about the idea with Frank, who’s got an extensive background in communications and training, and we came up with a similar approach to the BIG Gig in which people would learn by doing.”

It didn’t take long before a dozen or so businesspeople were on a Zoom call discussing why they wanted to refine their storytelling technique. Most recognised the importance of storytelling but wanted to improve the way in which they tell the story about how their business creates value for customers.

“This storytelling initiative is an experiment that builds on OB1’s ethos of businesses helping businesses,” said Nigriello. “We’re establishing a learning group to work together and help each other much in the same way we did with the BIG Gig.

“It’s like agile personal development, we’ll start with a market need and then iterate the process of learning how to tell effective and engaging stories as we go on. We’ve got a group of very experienced, highly motivated people who’ve come to this with an open mind and a willingness to learn and practice. It’s a great start.”

To learn more about the storytelling initiative or the movie nights, contact Paul Essery on  .


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