Tips for effective storytelling span website content, speaking one-on-one and to groups to tell the ‘why’ of what you do
One of the most fundamental traits of being human is our desire for storytelling. Even from the earliest cave paintings, it is obvious that we are hardwired to want to hear stories about ourselves – our triumphs, our challenges, and where we fit in the grand scheme of the universe.
As health care professionals telling the story of your practice, you need to harness your storytelling ability to grow your practice and enhance your professional reputation. Here are some tips for effective storytelling for various audiences.
The web content story
Blogging or website articles are a great chance to share with current or prospective patients your stories of success.
Even if you don’t use the real names of patients, you can blog yourself or hired a content writer to tell the stories of patients who saw great success through your treatments. You can also tell the story of your ancillary services or products and why you do them or carry them and their meaningfulness.
The prospective patient story
Not all stories need to be grand, sweeping epics to have an effect. In fact, sometimes the ones with the greatest effect start from just a small ripple.
The chiropractic stories you tell prospective patients are just this type. Let’s say a new neighbor overhears that you are a chiropractor, and approaches you. They are an active marathon runner, but have been sidelined for the past month, due to a pulled hamstring. They’ve heard mixed reviews from friends about chiropractic care in general, but want to know if you might be able to help them.
This is the time to tell a story that is warm, reassuring, and engaging. Your patient was also an avid amateur athlete who was frustrated at being sidelined. They also tried several other treatment approaches that did not seem to help. However, chiropractic care, combined with gradually returning to their usual exercise routine. Obviously, you cannot guarantee them the same results, but the key is to build a relationship based on understanding their problem, recognizing that they want to return to health, and giving them an example of what they may be able to achieve.
Tips for effective storytelling and the public speaking story
Telling your chiropractic story one-on-one, or even to a small group of people, in an informal setting is probably something you are comfortable doing. However, it may be time to think on a bigger scale. Taking your story to a larger audience, via public lectures, is the next inevitable step in growing your practice. So how can you take that one-on-one patient interaction and make it into something bigger to reach more people?
First, you will need to expand on why you are telling your particular story. Although your individual patients may not necessarily be interested in statistics, a larger general audience likely will be interested in that information, along with a more detailed description of how chiropractic works. Remember, you now have an entire room full of prospective patients, so you will need to pitch a much larger story to gain their attention and interest in what you have to say. Tips for storytelling — be sure to leave time available for Q & A during the last 10-15 minutes, as well as after your talk for more informal discussion.
Good storytelling is a valuable asset. Your chiropractic story can guide people to improve their health and overall well-being. At the same time, it can help you grow your practice, and get across to patients your passion and the “why” of what you do.