When it comes to storytelling…it has been around since humans have developed speech. As we come in the age of reasoning where words have lost their power and have been replaced with emoticons, I felt the need to reemphasize the importance of storytelling. I truly believe that story is still the most powerful communication mode we have.
My interest in this subject piqued when I heard a simple story by a passionate storyteller. It made me realize that everyone around you has a story to tell, it’s just the art of storytelling that’s missing in everyone. While you finish reading this piece you will believe that it’s not very difficult to tell a story for almost anything.
When it comes to business and specifically HR, my area of interest – it’s a complex subject which deals with human relationships in the workplace. Research shows that HR struggles to get its message across at senior levels. It does not matter how good your initiative, strategy or indeed your HR team is. If you cannot tell a story to your audience you are going to struggle to get their attention.
Here are 4 things your story should have and you’ve got it right:
- Make a promise
A well told story is like a pebble pulled back in a slingshot that prepares you to propel through the story. Make a promise to your audience that this would lead them to something worth their time through your confidence and passion.
- Change is fundamental
Just like our lives are not static, so shouldn’t your story be. The highs and lows, the change of expressions, your hand movement, your pitch and the emotions you arouse in your audience of happiness or sadness should not be constant. Give your audience the elements that will keep them engaged.
- Tell something more than just a story
Storytelling is the art of bringing to life a situation and communicating its significance. A strong theme is always running through a well told story. When there is a message or a moral or a new belief that you have inculcated in your audience they become the key takeaways for them and even memorable experiences.
- Make them wonder
The best stories are those that make the audience wonder. That moment that leads your audience to surrender is magical. And your capability to do so is the ultimate success of your story.
Developing the capability to tell stories effectively is an important way for HR to influence and motivate and engage people with initiatives that may initially be unpopular.
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