Lead with a Story: 10 ways to move your stories from good to GREAT!
by Sheila K.
on April 7th, 2015
Lead with a Story Part 2:
10 ways to take your stories from good to great!
Adults like stories—they offer authenticity, transparency, a way to relate in a human way to our leaders, our presenters, our colleagues. Move beyond the narrative of your story’s details to create a scene or event for others to participate in.
Here are 10 ways to craft compelling stories:
1. Begin with the end in mind—consider the point of the story for your specific listener BEFORE you begin. In other words, consider your “punchline,” the real impact you want your listener to realize based on the story. It will help keep you focused and the story brief and to the point with a compelling finish.
2. Don’t forget the context. My husband is notorious for launching into a story so excitedly that he forgets his listeners may be missing some critical details. If we don’t consider the characters, (people in the story) and the environment or circumstances precipitating this event, (context of the story) we may leave our listeners scratching their heads rather than listening or getting the point of our story.
3. Know your audience. The same story may be appropriate for different audiences but the context may need to change to ensure relevance. For example, when telling a story about how you dealt with an intense workplace security issue, the details you focus on may change depending on whether you’re talking to direct reports or your boss.
4. Be intentional about “hooking” your listener with emotion. Research shows that people tend to make decisions based on feelings that inform action or emotion. We can rationalize the decision later so it “feels” logical as we explain it to ourselves and others.
5. Show; don’t tell the story. Use all five senses to engage audiences in your stories.
According to John Medina in Brain Rules, Vision Trumps All Senses. Vision is most important to creating memorable experiences for our listeners, so use graphics, color, real photos and then add sounds, smells, even tastes to help listeners recall their own stories making memorable connections.
6. Keep it short and personal. Work to develop stories that are short, concret