My friend Thomas that provided the insight on using a tradeshow also followed up with his experience as a professional storyteller and how he has translated that into his experience as a job seeker.
Storytelling and the Business World
When I tell folks that I am a professional storyteller, I often see a quizzical look on their faces. For folks who have not heard of someone who tells stories for a living, they often assume that I read books to children. Or, possibly, assume that I dress up and tell stories at renaissance faires and the like. Okay, I’m guilty of the latter- but it IS a paying gig!
But storytelling has a wide variety of uses, and it is being used all around us. If you learn how to tell stories, it can be a powerfully effective tool in your bag of tricks. Storytelling is an ancient art-form. It even predates the written word. In fact, a great deal of our early history, folklore, myths, legends, and more, were preserved and carried forward by the spoken word. And many of our dominant world belief systems made extensive use of the art of storytelling to get their messages across. I find that a little ironic, now that I see titles in the business world like “Product Evangelist” and “Multi-Media Storyteller”.
But the fact is, that some of the worlds most important people were powerful storytellers. From Abraham Lincoln, Will Rogers, Mark Twain, to Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, Albert Einstein, and thousands of others, they all knew how to use a powerful tool- How to get their message across,effectively using storytelling. And their ideas and words are still resonating today!
Storytelling is an art form that anyone can use, but it can take a lifetime to master. In it's spoken form, there are a lot of aspects and techniques that can be used.. A good storyteller knows how to craft and choose a good story, how to use meta-language (physical cues) and a variety of speaking techniques to captivate an audience. A good story is a vehicle that brings ideas, interesting knowledge, and speaks to relevance. With a good story, a good teller will engage an audience, and encourage them to visualize, and to empathize. And in a world where we are literally being inundated with data, this will be a message that is evocative and relevant that will stand out, and capture mind-share. So being a good storyteller means you know how to communicate effectively, and how to recognize a good story when you see one!
So, how do I use storytelling in my business life?
Here are just some of the potential uses!
Creating and identifying marketing strategies.- The best branding is great storytelling!
Identifying and focusing a company’s core values
Developing your company goals and strategies.
Teaching effective communication to your sales force- creating a winning story.
Building bridges between your customer’s and your company.
Selling yourself- or your product, effectively
Inspiring your business, and encouraging creativity
Be better at being interviewed, or at interviewing.
Turbo-charging your training, and transmitting of values.
If you have questions, I am glad to offer what advice I can-
Our next installment- “Hollywood owes us!"
True Thomas is a professional Storyteller, creative coach and trainer.
He tells stories everywhere from campfires to boardrooms, and he believes in the power of storytelling, and that the right story can change the world.
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