Steve Adubato, Ph.D.
We all love a good story. Powerful stories can be a great communication tool to move, motivate, inspire and yes, lead others. Consider the following tips and tools when storytelling...
Stories are fun. You don’t need to be an expert or a whiz to tell one. A good story with a memorable beginning, middle and end, told with passion and enthusiasm connects with people on a visceral and emotional level. Great stories are not intimidating like a directive from the top telling you some organizational change is required because “the boss says so.”
Too much data is numbing. Few will admit it, but many of us are overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information and data. Statistics, surveys, charts and graphs create a never-ending data dump. E-communication can overwhelm us. Very often this information is too abstract for us to get a handle on. Not so with an effectively told story. Many crave a return to a simpler, more clearly defined world, where leaders communicate a direction that has a purpose.
Start incorporating stories into your communication. You have stories and anecdotes based on your life experience as well as the countless stories you were told throughout your life. These stories inspired you, and there is a good chance these same stories will inspire others.
We all make mistakes when storytelling. The biggest one is giving too many details and getting caught up in the minutia, forgetting what the point or moral of the story is. Great stories or anecdotes can be told in 10, 20 or 30 seconds. The key is to capture the essence of the story and then connect it to the existing issue or challenge facing your audience.