Tell Me a Story!

by Joe Lavelle on July 15, 2009

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grandpa telling stories

Most of us can identify that one member of our family who is known for telling amazing stories.  Maybe you have an uncle who can recreate with vivid imagery what it was like on a European battlefield during World War II or a grandmother who tells those embarrassing stories about your father when he was a child that make him refreshingly human.   For those of us who attend religious services, you know that preachers often like to start their oration from the pulpit with a story that will grab the congregation and hopefully create a connection with the teaching for the day.  And, let’s not forget about the masterful storytelling of politicians who are able to tell an emotional story using real voters as their examples in an effort to express the need for a particular piece of legislation.  Humans are social creatures who enjoy a good story, especially when they can find a relation to their own lives.

As you consider the ways in which you can move forward with your career ambitions, I suggest that you not forget the element of storytelling in a professional setting.  If you have a position in which you are required to give presentations to fellow employees, potential clients, or investors, think beyond the dry Power Point slides that simply offer the facts and numbers.  Find a way to equate your company’s ambitious efforts to the latest success of a local sports team.  Use visuals of family members or perhaps people who have been positively impacted by your company to drive home the human element of what you do.  Do not shy away from adding emotion to your presentation.  Your audience will find their time with you memorable, and your name will be remembered positively.

I love to hear about great storytellers in the corporate world!  If you have enjoyed such a presentation, please contact me and let me know what made the person so memorable.  We all can learn from one another and serve as mutual encouragement as we work to deserve those promotions and pay raises for which we strive!

P.S. You can read more about the value of learning to be a good storyteller in this post at Keppie Careers.

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