Persuasive Storytelling Rule 1: Adapt Your Vocabulary

Storytelling is how we share ideas and experiences. We use this skill to help sell ideas and help our teams and stakeholders understand our users. Here are six rules for persuasive storytelling. 


Rule number one:

Adapt your vocabulary to match your audience. 

Your audience can be anyone, including multidisciplinary, team members, stakeholders, clients, or third-party vendors. Our goal as storytellers is to have our stories resonate with our audience. But this could be difficult to do when we don’t speak their language. 


When you’re working on a project which is unfamiliar to you: 

  1. Talk to clients or stakeholders.
  2. Participate in usability studies and absorb everything you can. 
  3. Write down any words, phrases, or acronyms that you’re not sure about. 


Now you’ll know more about this industry or this project terms. Then, you’ll feel more confident going into future discussions with your clients and users. When you’re more confident about your knowledge of the work that they do, you can feel better about approaching them with new ideas to help solve their problems. 


Aligning the vocabulary is crucial to telling a story that will build trust amongst your clients and stakeholders. 

When they hear you’re using words that they’re familiar with, they know you’ve done your research to understand what they do and the problems they encounter on a daily basis. And you’ll have an easier time building buy-in for your ideas.