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Tell Me A Story: A Powerful Way to Inspire Action explains that, on the surface, storytelling wouldn’t appear to be a “must-have” workplace skill. But, when you think about the importance of inspiring and motivating a workforce today, this communication technique becomes vital. Stories present information on a level that is hard to reach with mere facts and statistics. The right story told at the right time gets people to feel a certain way and inspires them to take a specific action or buy-in to an idea.
Communication expert John A. Jenson illustrates the difference between conveying information and creating an emotional experience through story. He opens with a heart-warming account of the year he surprised his family with a puppy named Oscar. Rather than simply stating, “One year, I got my kids a dog for Christmas”, Jenson reveals the back story of how he came to find “Oscar” and what made the process so special. In the end, the story of Oscar the dog becomes the means through which audience members recall their first pet or a special gift they’ve either given or received.
Jenson then introduces a series of real-world organizational storytelling examples. Individuals from various types of industries are shown telling stories designed to move the audience or listener in a specific way.
Tell Me A Story makes the following points about storytelling: