I was in Singapore last week helping a group of leaders learn how to find and tell their own stories. No templates, no recipes, just helping them become mindful of their own stories and showing that storytelling is a visual practice. Don’t try and remember the words of a story, remember the pictures.
Like many of these sessions some people were naturals and others found it difficult to move from a didactic approach to communicating. There was one gentleman from India who I could tell was struggling. Luckily he was teamed up with a woman from Japan who really understood the idea of personal stories. At the end of the workshop he came up to me and thanked me for the day and said, “I can see how important telling your stories is because I have just seen you change the mood of the group and build a rapport with all of us by simply telling your stories. That’s what I will take away with me today.”
I was reminded of last week’s workshop (stories beget stories) watching this short video of Barack Obama out on the hustings. He tells the story of how he came to use the chant: Fired up; ready to go. To key to good storytelling is detail, detail, detail and painting pictures for the audience’s minds eye. How do you feel at the end of this story?
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: