How to tell a good story

Posted By on May 23, 2014

Story tellerIf you have been mesmerized by a public speaker, chances are good they were not standing at a podium and rattling off the latest sales figures. It’s more likely they were using the power of story.

Storytelling has become a buzzword in business and with good reason. Spreadsheets and business plans are necessary, but they do not elicit emotion nor do they inspire. People remember well-told stories.

A story is generally defined as a narrative, usually involving people and events, where one thing leads to another. Most good stories wrap it all up at the end.

To get started as a good storyteller, use these tips:

A Story Well Told

  • Humanize it. People care about people. There is a reason why many journalistic stories start by focusing on people who exemplify the bigger story. In business, this might mean that you tell a personal story, or talk about a client or customer who represents a bigger goal or idea.
  • Keep it simple. This means saving your big words and statistics for written material. Tell your story with plain language and action verbs. Keep it short. Most people can easily remember one point, or perhaps up to three points.
  • Don’t forget the ending. When we were kids, stories ended when everyone  “lived happily ever after.” Effective stories need endings. Sometimes it is a lesson that you are trying to impart. Ask yourself: Where do I want the listener to go from here? Leave listeners excited about joining you to take action.

Good stories help speakers make an impact. It’s one way to be memorable.

Speaking for impact is not an accident, it is a skill. We would love to hear how you have incorporated storytelling in your professional life. Share your experience with a comment.


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