Stories are the only way behaviour and attitudes are changed. We can rote learn things until we are blue in the face, but unless we can relate to the concept via a story, we never truly engage with it.
In the latest round of storytelling workshops (Sustainability Storytelling; Leadership Through Storytelling; and Understanding Your Value Through Stories) I have seen the most profound shifts from those within the workshops. From finally being able to see that “I do not have to be the hero in every story”, to “now I understand exactly the firm we are. Our stories define our culture” – has been incredibly rewarding for me.
So I thought I would share some hints and tips about storytelling in your organisation.
Sourcing the stories
- Listen to passionate employees and customers about their stories.
- Chose stories and/or characters that we can care about.
- Make collecting and collating stories a positive experience and process.
- Think stories that plot the progress and overcome adversity.
Collecting the right stories
- Create a beginning, middle and uplifting end.
- Don’t bombard the reader with data. One robust example or stat is enough and talk about your data in a way that makes sense to your audience.
- Don’t use jargon.
- Be positive. No one likes to feel overwhelmed or like there is no point.
- Invite action. Just like in any good story, tell the reader what to do next.
Writing the stories
- Create the context and plot – who, what, when, where and why?
- Be creative in your execution. No one has said that you need to be boring and you can afford to be creative. Use emotion, humour, animation, real people, pod casts and social media.
- Ensure that the stories feed your overall business strategy.
- Recognise that different stakeholders will need different stories. And don’t forget the internal audience when developing stories.
- Be prepared to have a conversation and invite external stories.
These hints and tips are evidently simple – and may I say commonsense – but put a story to them and they come alive.
If you would like Tania to run a storytelling workshop – customised for your organisation – contact her on [email protected] or call her on 0412 149624.