Tell Me a Story

addisonj_hat~ By Addison James

“Tell me a story.”

My Vice President said after we spent an hour with a member of the Board of Directors, scrutinizing nearly every digit in a ten page slide deck. Those digits were the result of a very large spreadsheet which I had created which showed  our results for last fiscal year, business entity by business entity, and how we expected to perform next year. The numbers had our expectations for our numerous product lines, the ones that we expected to grow and the ones that were our cash cows. Also, the expectations of industries, of demographics, and of regional macro environments were in those numbers. And I had to put them in a package that the Vice Presidents, the C-Suite executives, and the Board of Directors, could understand.

My name is Addison James and I tell stories.

My author profile on GoodReads and Amazon mentions my women’s fiction and contemporary romantic comedy writing. However the storytelling that pays my mortgage does not have an ISBN. I work in high tech. I work with numbers. I work at a company where the majority of employees are software engineers who create products that gamers love.  My job is working with data from finance and surveys, and creating spreadsheets that describe our financial performance and creating incentives for our employees. I create spreadsheets.

And I tell stories.

Like fiction writing, the business story needs to be engaging. It needs to pull in the listener so that they care about the outcome. It needs to have a personal perspective. It needs to appeal to emotions. How to do that with business writing? Business school students are familiar with a famous business school’s case study method. The case usually begins with a protagonist, usually an executive at a famous company, pondering a dilemma. The company is at a crossroads. A decision must be made. Do they branch out into home delivery? Should the product line stretch into lip gloss? Should operations be moved to China? What about labor laws in the Netherlands? Can the company afford to invest in a new technology at the cost of declining profits in the short term?

Storytelling isn’t just in the realm of writers. Storytelling is a part of life. It’s a form of communicating from Homerian epics to small tales of wonder. It can be the 140 characters on Twitter or a Facebook update. It can be the Great American Novel or the narration to a vacation slideshow on an iPhone. It can be the company proxy. It can be a 30 second commercial with a little boy who thinks he’s Darth Vadar. It can be a movie. It can be PowerPoint. It doesn’t have to be a book. The best commercials, the best case studies, the best Tweets all share a common thread. They all tell a story.

And so will my slide deck.

Addison James spent her childhood with her nose in a book, ignoring the natural beauty of her native Vermont.
She went to the right schools, got the right jobs, and spent her early adult years being responsible and stable. A few years ago, her long repressed urge to write emerged and she has been feeding it ever since.

8 thoughts on “Tell Me a Story”

  1. However, when buying high efficiency appliances you must understand that you can find other things to take
    into consideration. Always stick with the plan that you just start with don’t forget that
    it may be the salesperson’s job to try to persuade you more is better.

    Within the refrigerator section of the Whirlpool appliance
    you’ll have an overall total of 15. For example, you will find metal washers
    to include, not bags, as the receiving container is really a 14”x
    14”x4” wooden box which has a 4” PCV cup positioned with the centre.

    So you’ll find some types of writing prompts for kids in elementary and
    middle school. Both of those responses indicate that you have done your work well.
    Whirlpool reviews complaints report So that the people
    could get the benefits form your quest work. Unless you might be writing for effect,
    it’s always best (and fewer boring) to put things

  2. The selection of material, wool, cotton or silk and also the desired colour determines which
    herb and mordant, the substance that fixes the colour for the
    fabric is employed. File Manager Pro, claims to become the most
    advanced zip and file manager for your Black – Berry.

    There are wide ranging health companies with official online websites giving details
    regarding Goji berry and its particular invaluable contribution to human health causes.
    There aren’t any known unwanted side effects of damiana even upset stomach that’s
    common to new ingredients being added to your diet is unheard

  3. best hydroxycut women

    Are you ready to put in two-three years to get the word out with traditional promoting.
    Term Paper writing remains to become the most difficult, frustrating and despised activity for most students.
    best weight loss pills men She (http://Sutros.Com/Pillsamark) Do not say, “Now that individuals have seen the results for negative affect, we are in the position to examine men. You could be finding out the very well articles services online.

  4. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is
    really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.

    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.

    Here is myy webpage: ogloszenia drobne

  5. Hi Addison, interesting post. My background is also finance and I always found myself thinking in story terms. I get what you’re staying. Thanks for sharing – interesting.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *