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Four Ways Storytelling Improves Communication in a Corporate Setting

guest post by Christopher Kogler, President, Narrative Intelligence

The best corporate presenters are individuals who have learned how to convey their corporate messages to their stakeholders via a story. When done effectively, storytelling’s power resonates on a wide variety of levels. So what are some of the benefits that an individual can expect when using stories to convey initiatives like a firm’s change management plan or its new direction?

The ability to share and elicit stories helps us to build rapport and a connection with our audience.When we first meet someone we naturally look for a way to relate to and connect with them. Whether talking to potential clients or new employees, stories that build rapport provide that opportunity. By telling a Connection Story that shares something about your character and reveals something about what drives you, you are establishing a link with that other person. And, once a person feels a connection with you and they understand something about your character, they are much more likely to listen to what you have to say.

photo by DavidLawler / CC BY

photo by DavidLawler / CC BY

Stories provide communication that is clearer, more memorable and inspiring than a list of facts or a PowerPoint presentation. There’s a reason for this. Stories that are engaging and contain emotion affect more areas of the brain than a straightforward, rational explanation. When more areas of one’s brain are stimulated, understanding increases and the comprehension of information increases significantly. Weaving facts into your story is much more effective in conveying information than simply providing the facts alone.

Stories have the unique ability to influence others without the benefit of authority. If you’re trying to change someone’s mind, it’s always better to share a story on the topic that makes your point before launching into your formal argument. Stories encourage the listener to be less judgmental while listening to your viewpoint.

Stories provide the tools we need to effectively explain things in ways that connect with different audiences. Different stakeholders have different points of view and bring different biases to the table. And, as a result, their reaction to the information you’re providing may be very different depending on their perspective. For instance, selling a division of the company may be applauded by the Board but be considered a huge loss in that division. To be able to construct an Influence Story in a way that is appropriate to your audience gives you significantly more flexibility in conveying difficult information or getting someone to think differently, rather than simply presenting them with the facts.

Increase your influence by becoming skilled in the three dimensions of story-work during the interactive Storytelling for Leaders training. Register for a workshop or inquire about bringing the program to your organization.

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