I had the joy this week of attending a workshop delivered by Troy and Zara Swindells-Grose. If you haven't heard of them check out their website, Humour Australia.
Troy and Zara have something unique. They’re professional comedians and, among other things, help business leaders tell better stories.
I've been a story teller all my life in one form or another, yet this was a great reminder of the power of telling stories in business every day.
Troy and Zara pointed out that stories are a superbly effective way to bypass the parts of the brain that might otherwise resist your information. A story that's well told and has a clear and relevant message can link to your listener’s emotions and embed your message right in their heart, rather than going over their head. Stories also stimulate learning and persuade people to take action.
You might be wondering how story telling can have a place in your business world. The simple fact is, stories are everywhere; funny, poignant, dramatic, inspirational, take your pick.
You have your own stories from your past, your dreams and there are also the countless anecdotes that spring up throughout the day; what happened to you on the way to work, what the guy said when you were buying coffee, something you saw on social media. Even sharing these types of stories can lighten the mood of a meeting and help others feel at ease. It can enhance your connection with people, build rapport and help you drive your important information home.
Your story doesn't need to be complicated; it can be done and dusted in a matter of seconds. Troy and Zara shared some simple story structures such as:
Or, you can just speak from the heart about something you've experienced.
Next time you need to speak in a meeting or have a business conversation, think about what a story might bring to the interaction. Who knows, everyone present might walk away with a smile on their face.
In this serious business world, that has to be a good thing.