October 16, 2013

The Power of Telling Stories

In a world saturated with talent and grit, how can one stand out?

Simple. Captivate your audience by telling stories.

Humans have been telling stories since the days of cave dwelling. They’ve helped to communicate ways for survival, bring comfort to the mysteries of life, pass down beliefs and values, and even provide entertainment. From cave drawings of bison to Lord of the Rings, these stories provide the opportunity for humans to relate their own experiences to others for a genuine sense of belonging.

Because of those reasons, storytelling is one of five core competencies taught at Experience Institute. How will this help our students stand out in the marketplace? Well, it will teach them how to successfully sell their idea to others and develop their personal brand. The most effective leaders and workers are good storytellers. They do not achieve goals by presenting power point slides, statistics, or even bullet point lists. Rather, they reach goals by inviting us, the audience, to actively listen, engage, understand, and be inspired. This method allows us to connect the story with our own personal experiences, which then gives us a reason to care.

For example, Bob Smith needs to raise money for his new startup company focused on bringing healthy meals and produce to food deserts. He could offer a bunch of slides with statistics proving that food deserts were in fact the direct cause of obesity or he could relate it to a personal experience––talk about how his Father died of obesity due to the fact he lived in an area that lacked any healthy options. There is a high chance that investors would want to support a project they can relate to and care about, wouldn’t you agree?

The fact is, stories stick because they’re memorable. They resonate and create a compelling reason to act. So, what’s your story?

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