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Research shows that adults are particularly well-suited to learn through stories. The right story told at the right time can be much more powerful than just telling people how to do their job differently.
Think of the best speeches or presentations you’ve heard. What do you remember most? Maybe you can recall a statistic or two, but what you’re more likely to recall is a story that the speaker shared.
Using stories in your own presentations – big or small – takes some work and practice. A successful story teller doesn’t attempt to tell a story for the first time in front of an audience.
If you’d like to try using a story in your presentation or even to illustrate a point during a team meeting, use these steps to bolster your storytelling confidence:
- Identify a major event, achievement, challenge or failure in your career.
- Determine the central learning that you took away from the situation. Be sure to share your assumptions and your thought process.
- Most stories contain a critical decision point; explain why you made the decision and what impact the decision had on you and the company.
- Practice telling the story to yourself, making it personal. Continue practicing until you have a powerful, concise story.
- Wait until the right opportunity presents itself, and share the story with others.
Don’t let that story be your last. As with any skill, you’ll become more proficient at using the art of storytelling in your presentations if you continue to practice with new stories that you can use to effectively deliver your message in a way that will have an impact on others and help them learn.
If you’re looking for more tips and resources about leadership, including tips about how to coach talent, download our FREE 10×10 (ten tips, ten resources) packet about Helping Leaders Coaching Talent.
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