The best way to improve your storytelling is with feedback

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 2, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Last week we had a fun online event with our business partners. Using Soundcloud a bunch of us recorded a story or two and shared it with the group. Then we gave each other feedback on our stories. We used the hashtag #storytelling4leaders in case you’re interested in listening to some of the tales.

Here’s one from our partner in France, Hannah Havas. Yes, she doesn’t sound very French. That’s because she moved to France from the UK a while back and is now settled in that lovely country.

There’s no better way to improve your storytelling skills than to share a story and get feedback. There are three types of feedback you are looking for:

  1. What does this story mean, what’s it about? Understanding the point of the story and the possible take-aways your audience might hear really affects the way you tell it. When you know your business point the story paraphernalia falls away. You get streamlined.
  2. Did the story interest you? Did it keep you engaged? Did it evoke an emotion? Really what you are saying here, is it a good story? And the corollary is how can you make the story even better. Stories nearly always benefit from being more specific because it’s in moments that we can see what’s happening. I like to say that a story is something that happened. A good story is when you can see it happening. And a great story is when you can feel it happening.
  3. The last bit of feedback worth getting is what the story says about the teller. Whenever we are telling a story we are revealing things about our character, even if the story is not about the teller per se. So it’s always useful to ask your coach what your story says about the type of person you are. You might be surprised.

Feel free to tell a business story on Soundcloud and let us know. We will share it on our social media channels.

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:

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