Powered by Storytelling Excavate, Craft, and Present Stories to Transform Business Communication

In business, garnering buy-in is probably one of the most valuable skills. Do you need to change focus, motivate the workforce, or in my case inspire collaboration and sponsorship from individuals and corporations? Murray Nossel, Ph.D., co-founder of Narativ with Dr. Paul Browde, who has taught storytelling for 25 years, authored this 256-page book on why storytelling is such a powerful communication technique, how to use the three phases of the "Narativ Method" and how to put its six basic principles into action to tell great stories.

Dr. Nossel admonishes that for effective communication, listening is more essential than relating your story. Listening with care inspires others to listen to you. Listening is an act of generosity. 

Why does this resonate?

At Service After Service we have to use our precious resources sparingly; therefore we not only have to identify our targeted customers, but we also must listen for their ask in order to avoid wasting money on unwanted services.

The six storytelling principles of the Narativ Method:

1. "Humans Are Hardwired for Story" because ancient people had to teach their children and relay information to make sense of a hostile, chaotic, dangerous and predator-filled environment. Therefore you should be aware that your listeners, will follow you wherever your story takes them. Take the lead, know where you're going, and they'll go with you.

Why does this resonate?

I found this to be true very early on when people asked me what Service After Service did? I would initially give them the mission, then the three pillars and then........... You get my drift! Now I provide them with the mission and a quick story about one of our program leads. It has been much more engaging.

2. "Everyone Has a Story," and you should excavate the vast experiences of your life for the right story that will illuminate how you came to be who you are today. Think of this as your "origin story."

Why does this resonate?

This I see as two-fold. My Co-Founder and I always get asked why we founded Service After Service. People want to know your "origin story." Sometime we will take them further back to our time in the military, volunteering at the base library to teach mathematics. The second goes back to listening. One of the first questions we ask people that we meet is "What do you like to do?" They will share much about themselves and their origin.

3. "Everyone Can Learn to Tell His or Her Story Better." Connect your listeners to the story through your senses and if possible body movements. You don't just tell your story; you perform it.

Why does this resonate?

The third principle provided some valuable input as I'm working on revamping my keynote speeches. It reminded me that I have to take the audience on the journey with me. Have I ever told you about the time I saved a Navy Battle Cruiser from being destroyed? Remind me, and I'll tell you about it.

4. "Everyone's Story Will Evolve." Nobody loves hearing the same story told the same way more than once. Allow your story to become more complex as you mature. Punctuate the insights you've gained over time. Make your increased knowledge and insight part of your tale. Modify every story to the particular venue or environment.

5. "Storytelling Is Every Person's Access to Creativity." Dr. Nossel defines creativity as "the bringing together of already existing elements in a novel or surprising way." Heed the details of your story. Build your story from its details, using an accumulation of small moments and insights. You can take a panoramic view or zoom in on more information. Focus on one of the five senses or all of them.

6. The "Reciprocal Relationship" tells your story with two central concerns in mind: Listening as an audience member and telling the story as the narrator. Storytelling and listening nourish one another. This reciprocity is the core of the Narativ Method: Storytelling influences listening and listening influences storytelling.

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If you enjoyed this article, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you, as well as learn about other topics you want to hear more about.

For opportunities to publish or contribute please email me at Loni.Lymus@ServiceAfterServiceInc.org


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