For a brief time, I tried to sell life insurance. And, operative word was 'tried' I can assure you. Although I thought I did a good job on presentations and scripts provided by trainers, I did not make a single sale.
On other hand, veteran who trained me didnít spend much time with presentations or scripts. He simply told stories about clients who spared their loved ones great pain by getting proper coverage. Just as importantly, he talked about troubles suffered by people who did not have coverage. And, he sold a lot.
Which takes us to subject of purpose-driven story telling. I've bumped up against idea of it as a strategic communication skill several times recently, so maybe it's time to discuss it here.
For starters, let's distinguish between stories by talkers who believe world wants to know what they think about everything under sun, and stories told with express purpose of advancing an objective. Let's call latter 'strategic stories' (and you know what we call other kind).
You can use strategic stories to help your cause or project by figuring out, in advance, what you'll say and why you'll say it. In other words, before you make your speech or presentation, identify stories you'll use, and know why you'll use them.
Leaders frequently use stories to add emotion to their communication. Adding emotion allows listeners to buy in with their hearts, as well as accept with their minds. One specific type of emotional charging evokes shared values or memories. For example, "I know you'll keep providing great customer service because you all did such a great job when product recall was announced. Do you remember how calls started coming in right after first announcement?"