Stories are an interesting way to convey concepts. They can be gripping, amusing, dramatic, or humorous. Telling a story puts much more context around a subject or topic. The story evolves around an example, a real situation, a legend or even a fairy tale. People are always the core ingredient, no people – no story.
Remember when your father or grandfather told you a good night story? I do! I loved those and that’s why I told our kids good night stories, too. I can still remember some scenes and characters! And that’s one very powerful treat – when you tell a good story, your audience will remember what you said a lot easier and longer.
Think about how we learn: Listen – See – Touch/Experience. Listening to a story is much closer to experiencing than just listening to a someone telling you some facts. Have ever heard “Reading is like movies in your head”? That’s pretty much what a great story teller can achieve.
Stories can help answer questions.
Before we had pen and paper our history got told by the keepers. I can still remember the story about Archimedes sitting in the bath and yelling “Eureka” when he solved the problem “is this crown made of gold?” or Newton, sitting under neath an apple tree, seeing an apple falling down and realised the principal of gravity. Even if those stories are not true in the literal sense, they always help you remember the solution or stir you to finding an answer.
Designed to capture hearts and minds
Stories are designed to captivate the audience. Like a good presentation a story conveys one concept and everything else is made to capture your heart and mind so the story makes sense for you. It interests you and you want to know how it ends, because it is gripping, a page turner like the fate of Ali Baba when he gets caught in the cave by the 40 thieves.
Never let your children with such a cliffhanger go to bed – they wont sleep at all! But in a business context and open ended story can spark ideas, sets the tone or the scene for the marketing people to re-thing the brand image of the organisation. The software developers can understand much better what you are trying to achieve when you tell that in story form.
Storytelling is good for sharing knowledge
- Team-building activities
- Breaking down barriers between multidisciplinary or multi-cultural teams
- Workshop warm-ups
- Trip reports
- Project reviews
- Problem solving