There are times when even as grown ups we enjoy stories. More to the point if we want to share knowledge and learning, stories are a brilliant way to introduce a theme, a concept, reinforce an idea, illustrate a point or increase the ability to recall and retain information.
Some of us think we are good at story telling and some of us don’t – believing it is best left to others! When using stories in business one of the most important things to remember is to identify the point of the story. What is it that you want to teach, illustrate, suggest or show?
Be clear on the following:
- What is its purpose?
- How will it speak to your audience?
- Is it to introduce a new thought or idea?
- Is it to reinforce something your audience is already aware of?
- Is it authentic….with you and with your audience?
Definition of Authenticity: real or genuine, not copied or false: true and accurate: made to be or look just like an original.
A story has to feel real or genuine to your audience – if you don’t tell it from that standpoint then your audience is not going to get it or perhaps believe it. A story doesn’t have to be true – it can be made up – a work of fiction – but it does have to be believable to your audience.
In order for the story to feel genuine the audience needs to feel that you – the story teller – are being real and genuine not using someone else’s words, idea, or stories as their own.
If you want to share someone else’s story – where possible ask their permission and if you can’t do that and you still feel it is ok to share it – then tell the story in the third person. Tell the story of the storyteller.
Start with a small audience
If you are not used to telling stories listen to how others tell and use them. How long are they? Do they have lots of punchy shorty sentences? Do they include others in the story? Is the story teller animated as they tell it? How do they keep everyone engaged? What feels right to you?
Once you feel ready to try out story telling for yourself practice in a small safe environment. (Perhaps in a team meeting or with a colleague.) Check in with your audience to see how useful they found it and what (if anything) they appear to have learnt from the experience – does this match with your purpose in telling the story?
Get a trusted accountability partner to give you feedback so you can use it to make your story telling even better and more effective.
Once you are practiced and used to telling stories you can build your story repertoire to help you illustrate ideas and points with clarity in many differing situations. You’ll find over a period of time that the more story telling practice you get the more natural it becomes. Story telling will become a natural a natural way to impart information with ease.
Will you tell your stories? I’d love to hear your experience and learnings.
If you would like to find out more then ‘phone or email me.
Join our facebook group of like minded people who want to ReInvent themselves in order to live the life they are meant to live…… Choose to live your best life.
Wishing you every success.
Feel free to share or use this post – all that I ask is you accredit it to me at aliheathfield.com