The Power Of Storytelling And Some Quick Tips

Storytelling has always been integral to the Indian culture. Stories and anecdotes are not just a part of our growing up but have also been a medium to pass on wisdom through generations. Remember how each of our childhood story had a moral? These narratives have indeed been an effective tool of communication that have left a lasting impact on us.

No wonder, the skill has been effectively implied in the corporate world for its thought provoking power. Whether it’s a political speech, a corporate conference or an online talk – storytelling is being revived for a way of communication that is quite beneficial. Here’s why communicating through narratives is a great way to ensure that you are being heard.

Why and how storytelling works in a professional environment

  • Stories definitely grab attention and make your communication more receptive.
  • Personal anecdotes are always relatable and give a sense of achievement while inspiring the listener.
  • It is much effective to state facts and numbers which interest the audience and offer clarity. Blending them with good stories keeps them perceptive.
  • Humour, the right amount of it, makes it much easier to remember the story while keeping the atmosphere less formal.
  • Storytelling also helps connecting with the audience on an individual level, especially while addressing a larger gathering.

Tips to collate the right stories

1) Take Notes
We are full of stories whether they are humorous or serious. Observe and take down notes whenever you can – in office, while travelling, socialising or during a daily commute. Interactions give us a lot of inputs too. Stories are what primarily surround us.

2) Research
The internet can be widely used to research and learn. Did you know there are people trying to revive the art of storytelling? And these video-stories are available on the most preferred platform today – the internet. An array of stories from around the world, lessons on how to narrate an experience, stories related to most liked leaders – is all at the touch of a finger. Observing their skills and using those tips for the next big talk might just be the key.

3) Recall
What interests you in a story? There could be a number of things. It could be the story itself, the way of portraying it, the actions used or a method of making a simple story interesting. Recall stories from throughout your life during different phases and use them as a medium to get the message across by making it more personal. Learn the ways of storytelling and try to enact what caught/catches your attention.

Making stories more interesting

Personal narratives will always top the list when it comes to storytelling. There is a charm and the ability to keep the audience engaged in this method, which has never failed over the years. It is one of the most active ways of communication which connects the listener in a one-on-one basis. Dastangoi for instance is the art of storytelling in Urdu language from the 16th century. Our mythology is also full of captivating stories. This form of communication is has always been alluring and impactful.

Technology comes in handy here. Narrate a story through videos either as a storyteller or through interesting animation with narration in the background. Find different ways of engaging the audience to keep them hooked on to your thoughts. Videos also give access to a larger audience.

Photo Stories
Visual appeal is another efficient way to communicate with the audience. Pie-charts and graphs are a passé . Find something interesting like photo stories. Source good images – personal or others – and pair them up with great narrations to keep the audience engaged. Beautiful, believable images coupled with stories that reach out on a personal level will play a key role in delivering the message while keeping it interesting throughout.

Here’s a list of books that decipher the art beautifully

The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative 
Stephen Denning is regarded as a master storyteller and in this book, he explains the power of storytelling and how it can be highly advantageous for leaders. He emphasises that stories can bring about a positive change in the organisation, when used at the right time.

Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince and Inspire
In this book, Paul Smith gives examples of the most renowned companies using storytelling as a way to communicate in the organisation. This book is a guide with tips on effective ways of narrating stories that will come in handy for a speaker.

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story
Peter Guber has explained the techniques that lie hidden in the age old art of storytelling. His approach explains in detail about how a target can be achieved by using stories as a messenger and also making sure that the audience sticks to the goals.

Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact
Annette Simmons in this book explains the influential power of storytelling that is changing businesses for the good. Digging your own stories, adding an element of curiosity and ultimately inspiring the audience, can be found in this book.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human 
Jonathan Gottschall is accoladed with making us realise the evolution of storytelling and how it is human nature to narrate stories. The author believes that the world can change for the better through stories and that they are helpful in all walks of life.

Garr Reynolds is a communication expert from Japan and his approach towards enhancing the skill is based on Zen principles. In this engaging TED talk, he shares tips on better presentations and how storytelling can help achieve it in different ways.

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