Mentoring Through Storytelling

Communicating well is not only an intellectual exercise; to really connect with people, especially their emotions, we need to bring them into our experience. Stories do that. When you paint a picture with your words, people put themselves in that picture. As a leader, the right story can be a gold mine. Story creates a spark that ignites a new awareness. It is such an influential tool that if you use it constructively, it can change people’s hearts and minds. That is why Janet Litherland said, “Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us understand. They imprint a picture on our minds. Consequently, stories often pack more punch than sermons. Want to make a point or raise an issue? Tell a story.” One of the most underrated skills in business today and one of the most effective tools in the leader’s toolbox is
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A Storytelling Lesson From The NBA Playoffs

I love basketball almost as much as I love storytelling. Luckily for me, today they will come together. We are in the middle of the NBA playoffs and without question the single best player so far in the playoffs has been Kevin Durant. He is averaging over 30 points per game. And it’s not only this year. Durant has been the best player in the playoffs the last three years. In fact, in his entire playoff career he has averaged over 29 points a game which has only been outdone by Michael Jordan & Jerry West. The interesting thing to me is that for all of his greatness, he is still disliked and discounted by a large percentage of NBA fans. And I think the reason is a lesson in storytelling. I teach audiences that a great story follows a model of struggle to solution. You hook people with the
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The Case For Storytelling

When I was twenty-one years old, my brother Scott and I started a business together. I quickly discovered that I didn’t have a lot of credibility when it came to influencing others. We had marginal success but not the kind we were after. So I started to study communication and influence. I read books, attended seminars, listened to audio programs, and practiced what I learned. Through my study I found some keys to how to tell my story and communicate my message that caused people to listen and to eventually follow me. We ended up building that business to over $20 million dollars in annual revenue while still in our twenties. I since have had a chance to share my influence strategies, as a speaker and author, with hundreds of thousands of people around the world. What I’ve discovered is that when it comes to communicating with others, most speakers,
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Stories Make Everything Better

On Monday, I sat in an Irrigation Company Board meeting in Idaho for shareholders who own water rights. We bought a cabin/ranch property last year and with it bought water rights on the canal that runs through our property. The shareholders in the room were primarily farmers and ranch owners – this is a gruff bunch. The President of the Board started the meeting with a funny little story that poked fun at farmers and made everyone laugh and my thought automatically was – Stories make everything better Storytelling a skill that can enhance virtually every situation.   Last week Kyle Bringhurst reviewed my book The Power of Storytelling http://www.kylebringhurst.com/reviews/book-review/the-power-of-storytelling/   In his review he shared his 8 favorite quotes from my book & I wanted to share these quotes because they give practical ideas on how to share stories more effectively.   Top 8 Quotes “You don’t retell a
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Leaders Need To Tell More Stories

  Yesterday I had a pre-call for an upcoming event. Next month, in Las Vegas, I will be speaking to 150 CEO’s about The Power of Storytelling. As we went through what I would be sharing, the event organizer asked, “What led you to writing and speaking about storytelling? Why are you fascinated with stories?” There are probably several answers to that question, but here is the one I gave and I think it is vital for every leader to understand. Storytelling is one of the most underrated tools in business and effective storytelling just might be the most impactful leadership method there is. Here is why. A study by Uri Hasses of Princeton revealed surprising brain activity in audiences as they listened to a speaker tell a story. “The results showed that not only did all of the listeners show similar brain activity during the story, the speaker and
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Investments Lead To Stories

Investments in people lead to stories. And the stories that are told invariably build the influence and reputation of the one doing the investing.   Think about it: -When you have exceptional service at a restaurant, what do you do? You tell the story. -When your boss does something extra special for you, what do you do? You tell the story. -When a friend goes out of their way to help you, what do you do? You tell the story. We love it when someone invests in us by providing exceptional attention and service, and because it is so unexpected or unusual, we almost always share.   One of my clients is Subway. I speak to their franchisees and managers quite often and when I do I always share a simple experience to illustrate this point. I was eating in a subway once in the middle of the afternoon and
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5 Powerfully Simple Presentation Tips

1. Get Rid of Pleasantries – There is no need to talk about the weather, how grateful you are to be there, to apologize, or reintroduce yourself. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention so start with a question or jump into your content. 2. Make it Conversational – Act like you are speaking to one person. Make it conversational. Ask questions. If it is a small group you might create dialogue, with a large audience ask questions and give a pause for people to think about the question. Keep them engaged in the conversation. 3. Tell Stories – People love stories. Stories inspire, stories motivate—stories evoke emotion in people that causes them to respond, to take action, to adopt your ideas, and buy your products. Robert McKee put it well when he said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
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Communication Lesson From Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most recognized comedians in the world. In the early 90s it was Jerry’s comedy that spearheaded the popularity of observational humor. Here are a few of his funny observations: • According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. • I was the best man at the wedding. If I’m the best man, why is she marrying him? • It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. Jerry is a great comedian and a great communicator and he taught a great lesson on communication when he said, “I will spend an hour taking an eight word
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10 Storytelling Secrets

People love stories. More importantly, stories engage emotion which prompts people to respond, take action or buy your products.  Stories engage emotionally and people take action based on emotion.  These 10 Storytelling Secrets will help you on your way to becoming an effective communicator. In storytelling your focus is on the audience. Tell it for them not for you. The goal of storytelling in business is not perfection, but rather connection with your audience. Your purpose is to engage your audience. Without engagement there is never any influence. Find your voice and strike a balance between credibility and relatability. An influential story is struggle to solution. You hook them with the struggle and you help them with the solution. Keep your stories concise and compelling. Audiences have short attention spans, so the quicker you get to the take away, the better. You don’t retell a story—you relive a story. Make
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Those Who Tell The Stories – Rule The World

This week I had a chance to train the Wounded Warriors Project Speakers. What incredibly brave soldiers with amazing stories. I was reminded once again of the power a story has to emotionally impact those who hear it. Stories are a great way to make a connection. People love stories. People relate to stories. Stories are engaging, not only intellectually but also emotionally. When we hear a good story we automatically make a connection with the storyteller. As leaders we need to learn to tell a good story. In my book, “The Power of Storytelling” I break down the science and the art of telling a great story. For this post, let me synthesize that down to a couple of key points: One: Don’t talk too much. I was recently interviewed by a business magazine about storytelling and leadership. One of the great questions they asked is what is the number one mistake leaders
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