THE POWER OF STORYTELLING
Stories are powerful tools for connecting, learning and improving productivity. Peter Guber in “The Power of Story,” writes,
“Stories emotionalize information. They give color and depth to otherwise bland material and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way…we tell stories every single day. How we see the past, how we envision the future – those are stories. How we convey a message, how we describe a product or service – those are stories as well. A pitch, a presentation, a plea – all stories. In fact, stories are a vital part of any business.
The power of storytelling can be very impactful in both a positive and negative way. Stories we tell ourselves about goals we can’t achieve because we’re not smart or educated enough, for example, can lead to limiting beliefs that hold us back. On the other hand, stories we tell within the office about overcoming challenges or how setbacks were turned into successes can lead to empowerment and a culture of innovation and calculated risks. That’s the power of a great story.”
Hearing a story is also magical. When you hear someone’s story you learn what is meaningful and valuable to them and you can align your communication and services with who they are and what they desire.
Our brains are wired to enjoy and tell stories. It is how we make sense of the world. We look for patterns to help us remember and succeed, and patterns that we can repeat and share with others. Our brains start aligning with each other when we hear stories in groups, so we share more common ground and start seeing the world from new shared perspectives.
I love this quote shared in a Story Studio workshop, “Life is the story we tell. Relationships are the stories we agree upon.”
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE STORYTELLING
- Introduce the story before you tell it. Tell your audience what you are going to do and why it matters.
- Identify and distinguish the people in your stories, even stories about things are about people
- Use a journey of discovery, learning, realization, overcoming, changing
- Have a clear message
- Give your story a context, use details to describe what you were like at the beginning of or before the story took place, where were you, what were you like back then, what did you look like, what had you been through, how did you feel?
- Do not be afraid of emotion. Information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you – this is the core of a great story.
- Be authentic. Focus to how you are going to serve your audience and improve their lives.
- Express curiosity in your own story. What are the questions you had to ask yourself during the journey?
- Choose the right timing. Avoid injecting a story into a situation if your audience is not ready for it. Make sure there is enough time to share and the audience is receptive. Recognize when to listen to other’s stories and when to share your own.
A SUMMARY OF THE FIVE POINT STORY STRUCTURE OFFERED BY THE STORY STUDIO IN MANHATTAN
- SET-UP – What is the establishing situation? (Describe details, who is there, what does it look, smell, sound, feel like, etc.)
- INCITING INCIDENT – The first thing that changes from the norm or status quo
- RISING ACTION – The struggle or tension that arises from the inciting moment
- MAIN EVENT – Discovery has been made; a major action has been taken
- RESOLUTION – Answer the question, “How is the world different now?” (What changed from normal? What problem was resolved? What are things like now?)
WHEN TO USE THE POWER OF STORY:
- Inspire and improve the performance of employees
- Improve communication and understanding
- Enhance team building and training
- Increase sales
- Build consensus
- Relieve stress or anxiety
In conclusion, our stories rule our lives. They can help or harm your productivity, relationships and management style. Regular opportunities to tell and hear stories should be a part of your weekly schedule. If you are interesed in sharing your story at a Stamford Lean In meeting or an I-Develop workshop, please contact us.
CONTACT ME FOR A FREE SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGY CONSULTATION
If you’d like to learn more about great storytelling, I recommend the Story Studio in Manhattan. I have over 19 years of experience building my real estate business and helping other investors and small business owners improve operations and partnerships. Call for a free consultation, 203-570-2096.