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4 Storytelling Tips That Will Make You A Better Leader

Tip 4. Focus on one big idea.

Your theme or big idea is your editing tool. 

Every single detail in your story should relate back to your big idea.

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4 Storytelling Tips That Will Make You A Better Leader

4 Storytelling Tips That Will Make You A Better Leader

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carriekerpen/2018/09/25/4-storytelling-tips-that-will-make-you-a-better-leader/

forbes.com

5

Key Ideas

Purpose of storytelling

In the workplace, storytelling serves as an essential, powerful tool for effective communication.

It gets people excited around an idea, or a value, or perhaps some drier information that might not have been as interesting before.

Tip 1. Make it personal.

Great stories reveal a piece of yourself. Ask yourself:

- What makes you care about the work that you do?
- What part of you outside of your work is present inside of that world?
- If in financial services, for example, what is it behind the numbers and data that are at the emotional core of your work?

Tip 2. Show passion

The story needs to have stakes without being necessarily significant. Ask yourself:
What gets you excited about what you’re talking about? 
- Why do you care? 


Tip 3. Demonstrate change

The experience shared should show how it changed you in some way. Ask yourself: 

- What change do you want to see in your audience?

Tip 4. Focus on one big idea.

Your theme or big idea is your editing tool. 

Every single detail in your story should relate back to your big idea.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Storytelling is...
Storytelling is...
...the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.
Why we tell stories
  • Stories solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages;
  • Stories bring people together: stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them;
  • Stories inspire and motivate, by tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad.
Good stories are …
  • Entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  • Educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  • Universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.
  • Organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  • Memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

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Purpose of Storytelling
  • Clarifies The Vision and Mission of an Organization. Reinforces the intent of the leadership. 
  • Helps to Address strong challenges of organizational culture. It ...
Exercise for Corporate Leaders

Consider utilizing the exercise below to help develop a positive story:

  • Identify a successful event within the organization, or, an accomplishment by its personnel.
  • Detail the actions leading up to and following the event in chronological order.
  • Develop a 5 minute and 2 minute version of the story for use when speaking with your internal leadership team and personnel.
Steve Jobs

“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of ..."

Steve Jobs
Storytelling Is Everything

Whether it's telling inspiring stories to customers or delivering a presentation to executives and the board of directors, being a good storyteller helps us make the leap from Good to Great.

Product managers and designers can benefit tremendously by great storytelling, and so can anyone who is working with product design.

Purpose

Instead of selling products, we need to focus on their purpose and what good it does for the end-user. Focus on the need of the customer and design the product around it.

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Our brain on stories

A story can put your whole brain to work.

When we are being told a story, not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we wou...

We are wired for storytelling

A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long.

Giving suggestions

Exchange giving suggestions for telling stories.

A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.

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Stories create “sticky” memories

...by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means those who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others.

Facts and figures and all the rational thi...

Start with a message
First, settle on your ultimate message; then you can figure out the best way to illustrate it.

Every storytelling exercise should begin by asking: Who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them? 

Each decision about your story should flow from those questions. 

Use personal experiences
The best storytellers look to their own memories and life experiences for ways to illustrate their message. 

Think of a moment in which your own failures led to success in your career or a lesson that a parent or mentor imparted.

There may be a tendency not to want to share personal details at work, but anecdotes that illustrate struggle, failure, and barriers overcome are what make leaders appear authentic and accessible.

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Cut all the contact

Keep your distance and don’t text, email, meet in person or call.

Cutting the ties for good when it’s over puts you on a faster path to healing.

  • Set up an “Emergency ...
Let Your Emotions Out

Cry, sob your eyes out, scream and yell. As long as it doesn’t hurt yourself or anybody else, find ways to release and let go of the pain you may be feeling. 

Listen to sad songs. Listening to sad songs can regulate negative emotion and mood as well as consolation. 
Accept the fact that it’s over

Coping with the end of a relationship is a little bit like a 12 step program. You will reach acceptance far sooner by staying away from that person.

Don’t over-analyze what could have been different. Your mission now is to get to the place where you aren’t battling with yourself about the way things are. Do this with compassion and don’t beat yourself up.

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Hardwired for Stories

We love to tell and listen to stories. The 'Story Narrative' is hardwired in us, as we think and remember in stories.

A strong narrative can be the difference between succes...

Creative Problem Solving

Human beings are able to creatively solve problems, alone or in a group. This has given rise to many inventions, shaping common goals shared by a group of people.

We needed a 'sticky' idea to spread it among people, and the story narrative is exactly that.

Relating To The Characters

Stories cater to our Ego. A listener puts himself in the shoes of the protagonist of a story, and an idea is given emotional heft and sturdiness.

The more we are able to relate to the central character, the more engaging, effective and memorable a story narrative becomes.

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Three-Act storytelling structure
Three-Act storytelling structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas:

  • Setup: Set the scene and introduce the character(s)
  • Confrontation or “Rising action” : Present a p...
Five-Act storytelling structure

Also known as Freytag’s Pyramid:

  • Exposition: Introduce important background information
  • Rising action: Tell a series of events to build up to the climax
  • Climax: Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)
  • Falling action: Continue the action from the climax
  • Dénouement: Ending the story with a resolution.
Before – After – Bridge storytelling formula
  • Before: Describe the world with Problem A.
  • After: Imagine what it’d be like having Problem A solved.
  • Bridge: Here’s how to get there.

Set the stage of a problem that your target audience is likely to experience ( a problem that your company solves). Describe a world where that problem didn’t exist. Explain how to get there or present the solution (i.e. your product or service).

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The Art of Telling Stories

Today, brand perceptions and relationships are increasingly difficult to maintain, due to constraints of limited budgets, a whole lot of options, and audiences who are distracted, disinterested and...

Facts Mean Nothing

The assumption that the audience will logically look at the facts and figures and make the right choice is fundamentally flawed. Audiences ignore most factual data, which even if repeated often, is forgotten or distorted.

An Impactful Story

Even when brands know the value of communicating through stories, it is hard to create truly powerful narratives.

An impactful story usually involves empathetic and authentic people overcoming challenges, which can inspire, entertain and inform audiences.

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