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Business Storytelling: Turn Pitch Decks into a Powerful Marketing Tool

July 24, 2014 / Blog, Lessons, Pitch Deck Science, Rick Enrico Blog

branding, business storytelling, content marketing

Business storytelling has been helping brands add more impact to their online content, and it can do the same for your pitch decks.

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Your pitch decks have the potential to become one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal. During pitches, you’re directly talking to the people you want to reach out.

So don’t waste a good opportunity by boring potential clients with bad delivery. Engage them with a simple technique that’s ‘as old as time’. Tell them a great story.

What is business storytelling?

According to Mike Murray, business storytelling is basically about “brands sharing their messages in ways that engage audiences and drive them to a desired action.” It might sound similar to the definition of content marketing we gave previously, but Murray maintains that they are two separate, but related things.

“Business storytelling is a distinct content discipline that leverages well-crafted narratives in a diverse range of content types, while content marketing is much broader and speaks to the collective efforts that companies use to communicate with their audiences in informative and engaging ways.”

To frame it, content marketing refers to a collection of things you do to reach out and engage consumers and potential clients. One of the ways you can do that is through pitch decks that reveal the core identity of your brand and company.

What business story should you tell?

In her book, “Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins,” Annette Simmons identified six kinds of stories that can help facilitate business communications:

  • “Who am I” Stories
  • “Why am I here” Stories
  • Vision Stories
  • Values-in-Action Stories
  • Teaching Stories
  • “I know what you’re thinking” Stories

While Simmons uses these stories to help frame interactions that are more straightforward, her insights can also be helpful to marketing pitches. Particularly, it’s the first three that are important to business storytelling in your pitches. These are the type of stories that help reveal insights to build trust and establish rapport between you and your audience.

Obviously, you won’t be telling stories from your own personal experience. Instead, think of answers to “Who am I”, “Why am I here” and “What do I envision” in terms of your brand and company identity. Here are a few specific questions, courtesy of Content Marketing Institute, to help you narrow it down:

  • What’s your reason for being?
  • What’s your history?
  • Who are your main characters?
  • What’s your corporate mission?
  • How have you failed?

Humans have always been storytellers. It’s our way of connecting with each other. In whatever form, the core of all our communications is the primordial impulse to tell and hear stories. Why not use that to improve your pitches?


Murray, Mike. “Business Storytelling: Key Questions.” Content Marketing Institute. April 23, 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
The Six Kinds of Stories.” Annette Simmons. 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Williams, Debbie. “Find the Heart of Your Brand Storytelling with These 6 Questions.” Content Marketing Institute. June 19, 2013. Accessed July 24, 2014.

Featured Image: UNE Photos via Flickr