From that primitive stone-age tribe who sat around and listened to stories in their cave to today’s high tech sales force armed with the latest electronics, the art of storytelling survives. Stories capture attention and make information believable, memorable and understandable.
Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, says science backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message.
In business, storytelling is all the rage. Without a compelling story, we are told, our product, idea, or personal brand, is dead on arrival. In his book, Tell to Win, Peter Guber joins writers like Annette Simmons and Stephen Denning in evangelizing for the power of story in human affairs generally, and business in particular. Guber argues that humans simply aren’t moved to action by “data dumps,” dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion. The best way to emotionally connect other people to our agenda begins with “Once upon a time…”
Inject life into your presentations with stories:
A personal story woven through your presentation increases the interest factor by several degrees. If you need to lay out technical details, don’t forget to touch the human side of your audience. A personal story about a frightening or difficult situation adds drama to your presentation.
There is a special kind of story that organizations need to be able to tell. In a way, it is the collective “Who We Are” story meaning that it spells out Who We Are and What We Stand For as an organization.
Fashion personal stories that show you in a vulnerable light (when you were struggling as a young sales rep, at your first job out of college, etc.) They will help you gain empathy and get the audience rooting for you. Come up with 2 – 3 stories that you can develop and plug into different presentations.
Tell your group a story. Actually, every presentation you give is a story. Your connection with the audience via a story or two means you’re joining with them in a shared experience.