In a conversation the other day we were talking about how to guide today’s youth for success in the “real world”. It encompassed topics from the importance of learning different languages, including Spanish and Mandarin, to the role a college education plays. While we had a range of opinions, there was one thing we all agreed upon — how important it is for our youth to excel at being able to tell a story. From job interviews, to saving the world, to storytelling in business, how well our youth are able to translate their experience and education into stories really matters.
The ability to tell a memorable story has served people through the ages as a way to impart knowledge of the best hunting grounds; share news from village to village and far away lands; communicate ideas; and even provide a living. Before people learned to write, they had to rely on memory, so they had to be good listeners to be good storytellers. And a good storyteller was always respected. He could easily find an audience, eager to devour every exciting bit of information in their stories.
So how does that relate to you, today? When it comes to communicating an important message, people really don’t care as much about the facts. They care about the things that touch, move and inspire them. Facts just can’t do that. Tapping into the power of storytelling is about bringing meaning and truly connecting with your audience. Think about the last time you read a book you just couldn’t put down, heard a speech that moved you, read an article that changed your perspective? These are all forms of storytelling. They are engaging and effective because they activate a person’s imagination. You haven’t really connected with your audience until you’ve told a story.
According to Annette Simmons stories can change the way we think, act and feel. Leaders, especially, can use the power of a storytelling in business to influence and motivate their teams to new heights. Stories can inspire everything from understanding to action. They can create legends that an entire workplace culture can build upon, and they have the power to break down barriers and turn a bad situation into a good one. Stories can capture our imaginations and make things real in a way that cold, hard facts can’t.
Case in point, let’s look at the facts of a well known children’s story – The Three Little Pigs
- 3 pigs need to escape from a wolf
- 2 pigs come close to losing their lives
- 1 pig is more industrious than the others and ends up saving them all
- The wolf is defeated
Just the facts, not very engaging right? Told in this way, the story of the three little pigs would never have become the timeless story that it is. But cast as a story with tension, foreboding, and an antagonistic character it becomes unforgettable for the listener. It evokes strong emotions and has made the story stick across generations
Kelsey Ruger asks: Have you ever wondered how you can make your presentations more dynamic? Do you want to relate to your audience so that your message is more memorable? Story telling is the way to go.
So what is your story?