Why stories? We have been using stories to deliver a message from the dawn of mankind literally. Cavemen and women told stories around the fire to inform, teach and entertain, it was their only way to warn of danger and pass on important learning that would help others survive. Its no surprise then that a portion of our brain is there to absorb stories and act on them, which is why we need to perfect the act of story telling and use them in our training, presentations and any time its important to influence people.
Stories spark emotions. We have an intuitive, emotional side as well as a deliberate, rational side to our character. Too often in business we only try and connect with people on a rational level but this isn’t enough to actually change how people behave. People may understand what you want them to do but if they aren’t emotionally engaged they just won’t do it! Storytelling gives leaders a way of inspiring colleagues in a way that appeals to both sides of our character.
People use stories to make sense of things. Everyone has a story in their head about what their work means for them. This story is the result of thousands of interactions and experiences and it becomes the ‘lens’ through which we interpret the world around us. L and D leaders with a shared strategic narrative can engage people in the wider context of the journey the business is on, giving people a framework to understand changes and action required. A story has a core message, but can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the lens through which it’s being heard.
People learn from stories. Stories are a great way of learning from others, and can help shape cultures within business. Stories give people the space to discover the implicit meaning of what’s being said, enabling them to learn, discover and own what they need to do for themselves. Storytelling is a great tool for L and D leaders seeking new behaviours in their teams. Sharing emotive stories of best practice inspires individuals and teams, helps them learn more quickly and helps organisations to become more agile.
Seven Tips for Storytelling
- Stories are about people. People connect with other people, so make sure you focus your story on the real-life characters of your story. Even if your organisation (a) is devoted to saving endangered animals (b) making policy change or (c) helps other organisations work more effectively, human beings are still driving the action. So focus on the people involved. People are what serve as the audience’s guide through the story, and what an audience will connect with.
- Let your characters speak for themselves. An important part of storytelling is making the story personable and relatable. When characters speak to each other in a story, it lends immediacy urgency and authenticity to the piece. So use direct quotes and let characters speak in idiosyncratic voices, lending credibility to the dialogue.
- Audiences bore easily. Let’s face it: these days, our attention spans are strained and unless you’re keeping people interested, you are wasting your breath. So when telling a story, get them engaged: make them wonder “what happens next?” or “how is this going to turn out?” As the people in your story pursue their goal, they must run into obstacles, surprises, or something that makes the audience sit up and take notice.
- Stories stir up emotions. Human beings are not inclined to think about things they don’t care about. Stories stir emotions not to be manipulative, not simply for melodramatic effect, but to break through the white noise of information that continuously inundates us and to deliver the message: this is worth your attention.
- Stories don’t tell: they show. Show don’t tell is the most fundamental maxim of storytelling, and for good reason. Your audience should see a picture, feel the conflict, and become more involved with the story – not just be receptacles for a long list of facts.
- Stories have at least one “moment of truth.” The best stories show us something about how we should treat ourselves, others, or the world around us. Call it an “Aha” moment – that point when your story conveys a message that really makes your audience say, “Yes! That’s a powerful idea.”
- Stories have a clear meaning. When the final line is spoken, your audience should know exactly why they took this journey with you. In the end, this may be the most important rule of all. If your audience can’t answer the question, “What was the story all about?” it won’t matter if you followed rules one through six
The video link is excellent and beautifully told a story about story telling, enjoy
Video Link – https://vimeo.com/125383660