Startup Storytelling: Part 2 - Understanding Perspective

Part 2: Perspective

When you're starting to think about your startup story and your pitch deck, it's important to think about the different ways you can use perspective to convey your points. When working with founders, I like to start with focusing on three main perspectives they will use.

I vs We vs They

I - Great for when you need to tell a personal story or move the audience through your own self-awareness. This is a great way to frame origin stories, stories of conflict and how to overcome them, and mentor stories.

We - For early stage startups, the ‘we’ usually applies to the early adopters, investors, partners and employees. Use ‘we’ when you’re talking about the journey from a group perspective. One great way to use it is by transitioning from ‘I’ during an origin story, to ‘we’ as you talk about where you’re going.

They - Great for times when you want to name the villain or point out some- thing that you and your team is not a part of. Stories many times include the struggle between good and evil, and by using ‘they,’ you can make sure your audience fully understands the context.

As someone who is dyslexic I constantly switch between perspectives without realizing it. IT works okay in conversation, but when I write, it can derail what I'm trying to say and make me look as if I don't clearly understand the subject.

If you can, when you're listening to founders speak, pay attention to the perspective they use and how it makes you feel. Specifically watch how they switch from different perspectives to highlight a point, or anchor a story.

Today's Exercise

Take a moment and think about where you are in your business lifetime and what perspective you are using the most when talking about it. Once you've identified if you're a I, We, or They, person, think about how you could integrate other perspective to help you achieve your goals. And then go out and try to see what happens when you use it in real life.

Upcoming Workshops

Want to learn more? Check out the workshop I'm doing with Pitch Lab at General Assembly on November 13. We'll be focusing on how comedy can help you be a more engaging storyteller!

* Thanks for reading. I didn't do this in the past, but it's time to just admit it-- I'm dyslexic, can hardly spell my own name at times, and miss basic grammar every once in a while. So, please forgive me if there's a typo. What I do know is how to tell a story, which luckily for me doesn't always require writing.