Home > Communication, Leadership, Relationships > Can You Tell a Good Story?

Can You Tell a Good Story?

In a recent Achievement Code Training about becoming a clear communicator, I was talking about the effectiveness of telling good stories.

I have a sign in my office that says, “Facts Tell and Stories Sell.” Stories truly are important in building rapport, holding attention and making our points more entertaining and memorable.

During the training, one of our participants asked a good question. He wanted to know how you get good at telling stories. Well, I’m the son of a very good story-teller, and I think I tell a pretty good story myself. But I hadn’t really thought about how one becomes good at this art.

Obviously one gets better with practice. But I think what this person wanted were some concrete methods for improving our ability to spin a tale that teaches.

Toastmasters International is a good place to practice and get feedback on all kinds of presentations. So joining your local Toastmasters could be a good place to start.

Beyond that, I think it’s a matter of analyzing a good story when you hear one. What got your attention? What made it interesting to you? How did you relate to it?

The sweet spot is to tell a story that’s not too long, yet not too abbreviated. And one that’s not so detailed the listener gets lost but not so general that it lacks the richness that paints a picture.

Share the emotions you were feeling. Talk about why you felt a certain way and what memories it brought back.

Taylor Sternberg has a formula he uses to construct an engaging story. He recommends breaking your story into six parts:

1. Who: Start with who is involved. Was it you alone, with another person, or a group of people. How are you related to those people?
2. What: Communicate what the action was, such as being at a party or driving to a friend’s house.
3. Where: Actively describe where you are, using senses. If you’re good at establishing the location, you can get the listener to start re-living the senses with you.
4. Conflict: This is the bulk of the story. What is the importance of this story? What happened, and what action did you take to try to resolve what was happening?
5. Resolution: How were you able to handle the task set up in “conflict”?
6. Tag: This one is a bit tricky. It’s the aftermath of the resolution and usually is a joke or the big finish of the story.

I encourage you to try your hand at becoming great at telling short stories to improve your ability to communicate more effectively.

And don’t say, “To illustrate my point, let me tell you a story.” Just tell the story. And let your story do its work.

I can think of no better investment of your time and effort than the study and practice of becoming a clear and effective communicator.

And right now, you can grab these two FREE resources with proven techniques to help you deliver more powerful presentations.

Click here to access . . .

Categories: Communication, Leadership, Relationships Tags:
  1. No comments yet.