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Entrepreneurs urged to tell their stories

Birmingham-born journalist and author Jon Card says the entrepreneurs most likely to succeed are those who practice a childhood skill, and that all entrepreneurs should be storytellers.

In his new book, "How to make your company famous", he says that storytelling is a skill that needs to be embraced if entrepreneurs want to succeed in the 21st century.

Card worked as a business journalist for over 15 years, writing for titles including The Times, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. During this time, he interviewed and wrote about many of the world’s foremost entrepreneurs, and observed a clear pattern for what made certain business people more memorable.

“I’ve asked scores of business and tech journalists what makes them want to write about a business, and one answer comes up over and over again: ‘The story’.

“I appreciate that learning to tell a story might sound childish to some people, but it’s a skill that unites the world’s most famous business people. Entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Anita Roddick all propelled their businesses forward using storytelling and gained huge amounts of press and publicity.”

Card says the realisation that this was so important came to him when he was thinking about past interviews and wondering why some had been more successful than others.  

“I estimated that, after 15 years working as a journalist, I’d interviewed over 1000 entrepreneurs but, realistically, I couldn’t remember most of them. Those I did remember knew how to tell a story. I wrote this book for anyone who wants to be remembered by a journalist or anyone else they tell their story to."

Card, who is from Birmingham, regularly works with technology entrepreneurs at pitch training workshops, helping them to tell better stories and understand how the press and media operates.

“There are so many amazing entrepreneurs out there and it’s a crime that the world doesn’t know about them. Right now, we need these people to help us solve all of the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, major diseases and online crime.

“It’s not just journalists that appreciate a good story. There are close parallels between speaking to the media, pitching to investors and making a sales presentation. The most effective way to communicate big ideas is through stories. Whether or not someone is an effective storyteller can be the difference between success and failure.”  


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