When I saw this article I almost fell over for this is one of the essential life skills I included in my book, We’re Not Gonna Take It, that I feel our youth need to have in order to succeed in life.

We are so caught up in pictures, instagram and social media however it is really face-to-face where we can have the greatest impact and one of the ways to make that impact is through storytelling.

The art of storytelling is the ability to paint a picture for someone so that when you leave this person he or she can still hold the picture/image. I attended a speaking event with Steve Lowell called, High Level Speaking for High Income Entrepreneurs. In an hour and a half he briefly showed the importance storytelling has on selling and used effectively, can illustrate to a person what you do rather than you telling them. He used the example of the tennis coach. He said how many of you want to hire a tennis coach this year? Only one person raised his hand. He explained rather than saying you are a tennis coach, when someone asked what you do you can respond with a story: I was talking to a woman at the grocery store and she was complaining that her children are bored and fighting and that she’d love to keep them busy. This tennis coach responded, “That is exactly what I do. I take your kids and run them around to exert all that energy, teach them to have fun and exercise at the same time. At the end of it they do learn to play tennis. I take your children for 2 hours and when they are done they will be exhausted and no energy for fighting”. Based on this description parents flocked to sign their kids up for this 2 hours energy-driven activity.

The Art of Storytelling has been called a strategic tool with “irresistible power” by the Harvard Business Review . And “the major business lesson of 2014” by Entrepreneur magazine.

It has been around forever so why the sudden focus on this now? In this extremely competitive world in order to stand out when crowdfunding or selling your concept you need more than facts about you or your company when sharing to prospective employers or investors. YOU NEED TO BE COMPELLING, unforgettable, funny and smart. Magnetic, even. You want to answer the question which lingers in their mind when trying to persuade: What makes you so special?

Learning to shares stories is a skill. When you share a compelling and moving story people don’t always know why they like it. There is a use for stories in business and even for those looking for work. Stories that paint a picture and elicit an emotion will be remembered more than stories that share only facts and figures. You almost need to go back to the time as a child when you would share these far-fetched and exciting stories. A good story, like the loch ness monster, survives in ones mind and can often be retold.

A good story is authentic, real, and from your heart. This way people can relate to what you are saying or perhaps have empathy.

It takes practice, practice and practice. I scripted a story I wanted to share when selling a concept. I practised it until it felt natural and then I went to my meeting and when asked what I do, instead of listing what I do, I shared a story. It was a confidence builder seeing this skill set put into motion. I will do more of that this year.

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