Storytelling continues to be an incredibly effective and impactful tool in your communication kit.
I use this handy skill to help:
Entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants use stories to deliver high impact workshops, keynotes, pitches, interviews and TED talks.
Corporate leaders use stories to engage their people in the new virtual working world in their briefings, meetings and presentations.
People often ask me what storytelling actually is.
I’ve included answers to some frequently asked questions to help with this.
1. Do I always have to share MY story?
Not at all. If it is relevant to share a personal story in order to connect with your audience and deliver a relevant message, then absolutely yes. It really depends on what it is you are delivering. If the message is aligned with your story, you can use it as the basis of your talk or presentation.
2. What is the definition of a ‘story?’
Dictionary definition alert! ‘An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.’ For the purposes of increasing the impact of your communication, a story can be anything that enhances your words.
It could be…
● A quote
● A poem
● An image
● A video
● A song
● A metaphor
● An analogy
● A dream
● A hypothesis
● Some research
● A journey or
● A case study
3. Is a story all about telling a tale, real or imagined?
Yes, but it’s also helping your audience to understand what you are saying in a more succinct and impactful way. That doesn’t have to be an actual story. It could be any of the ways I have mentioned above.
4. Is a story a journey from ‘then to now?’
The hero’s journey is one of the most well-known storytelling structures of all time.
The hero normally goes through a struggle on their journey but that might not be relevant to you.
You might be wanting to explain something complex so that people understand it better. So an analogy would be really useful. (Example – explaining the concept of mindfulness by using an analogy.)
Or, you might have a case study you can use to explain some research or a project you have delivered on more clearly.
You might use a dream or vision to explain something that hasn’t happened yet.
It could even be something completely abstract with no timeline attached to it. (poems, quotes, images and analogies are also useful in this instance.)
5. How do I use stories if I just want to make my communication more effective?
My advice is to take what you would normally do and swap it out and switch it up.
· Replace endless slides with single images that link with your message.
· Instead of spouting lots of data use a story to present it instead.
· Use an analogy to explain complex (and often dull) messages in more engaging ways.
· Connect with your people on a much deeper level by telling a relevant personal story.
The possibilities are endless!
6. How do I use stories to make an impact on my bottom line?
If you run your own business, stories should be a solid feature in your marketing and delivery plan. From the content you put on social media, to the wider media opportunities to virtual keynotes, training webinars and workshops.
Stories are a sure-fire way to connect you with your audience, and in a very noisy world, it’s even more important to really make your mark.
7. How can I get more help with this?
1. If you are ready to invest in focused one to one support (starting at £997 for my mini intensive) on how to use stories to increase the impact of your content, talks and training AND your bottom line then book in a call with me. I have availability from May 2022. https://helenpackham.as.me/schedule.php?appointmentType=2721768
2. Register your interest for my storytelling workshop. I am going to run a workshop this year that will give you the tools you need to elevate your communication and leverage the online space for more opportunities. Just hit reply and say YES!
3. Take a look at my virtual speaking pro course. It’s a one-stop-shop to help you get super clear on your message and how you can use stories to leverage the SIX methods of virtual speaking to generate leads and win more business.
Stories are awesome and they stick!