The good news: storytelling in business has become the rage. The bad news: most of these stories fall flat.  

The problem? Weak beginnings that don't grab our interest. To avoid that fate, make sure to define a pressing challenge, need, or desire in the first few lines of your story. For example:
  • John's boss poked her head into his office and said, "Amy just called in sick. You need to deliver the presentation."
  • The engineers said it would take four months, but their funding would be gone in 45 days...
  • It was a done deal until the CEO raised a question that no one had considered… 
If you want people to pay attention, amp up the tension early on. Don't just recount a series of events; hook your audience with a dramatic twist that compels them to listen.