Did you know that this week is National Storytelling Week?
As far as I'm concerned every week should be National Storytelling Week!
That's because the way people truly relate to each other is not through facts and figures (even though they are incredibly important), but through their senses and nothing beats a good story to engage the senses.
Just today I had a client who had attended a course with us on Monday send me a 'feedback' email. He set the scene by giving me background on how he came to Impact Factory, how he was already a good presenter, how his expectations were low…..by the fourth paragraph my heart was pounding fast and I was already anticipating the bad news that I'd have to tell the trainers something had gone awry.
Finally, in the fifth paragraph he went in for the kill and it was all great - fantastic training, professional, 'all aspects were perfect'. Glow glow. What a storyteller! He used so many of the elements that bring a story to life: he used 'visual' and descriptive language, he gave some background, he created drama, he threw in some doubts and then it all ended happily ever after.
He could have written a much simpler email saying pretty much the same thing; yet it was all the rest that made him come to life and become a more engaging 'real' person.
That is why even in the smallest ways using storytelling elements makes you more appealing, more approachable and accessible and makes what you have to say more engrossing and absorbing.
National Storytelling Week is supposed to be more about oral storytelling, but we should all be having a go in all our communications: through our writing, whether it's an email or a report or a note to a colleague; through our listening and responding, whether it's hearing other people's stories or chatting around the metaphorical water cooler.
Start with yourself - think of what would engage your senses, what would peak your curiosity, what would help you gain insight and understanding. Then turn that around and use those very elements to refresh the way you communicate to others.
Even sprinkling a few adjectives and adverbs around can make a difference; can make a huge difference, can make a significant difference. See the difference? It doesn't take much to change the way you experience a communication.
Storytelling makes us more human; the more you use it consciously, the better communicator you will be.
Check out Impact Factory's range of Storytelling, Presentation and Communication courses.
By Jo Ellen Grzyb, Director, Impact Factory