How to Tell a Great Story

We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. It’s an essential skill, but what makes a compelling story in a business context? And how can you improve your ability to tell stories that persuade?

What the Experts Say
In our information-saturated age, business leaders “won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,” says Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues and president and founder of Public Words, a communications consulting firm. “Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all,” he says. But stories create “sticky” memories by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means leaders who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others. And fortunately, everyone has the ability to become a better storyteller. We are programmed through our evolutionary biology to be both consumers and creators of story,” says Jonah Sachs, CEO of Free Range Studios and author of Winning the Story Wars. “It certainly can be taught and learned.” Here’s how to use storytelling to your benefit.

Start with a message
Every storytelling exercise should begin by asking: Who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them? Each decision about your story should flow from those questions. Sachs says that leaders should ask, “What is the core moral that I’m trying to implant in my team?” and “How can I boil that down to a compelling single statement?” For instance, if your team is behaving as if failure is not an option, you might decide to impart the message that failure is actually the grandfather of success. Or if you are trying to convince senior leaders to take a risk by supporting your project, you could convey that most companies are built on taking smart chances. First settle on your ultimate message; then you can figure out the best way to illustrate it.

Leading People Toward Influence – The ABCD’s of Trust

Leadership is an influence process. Whenever you try to influence the beliefs or behaviors of another person, you are engaging in leadership. By this definition we are all leaders in some form or fashion. Understanding Basic Leadership Roles Q: Are you a parent? You’re trying to lead your children. Q: Are you a sports coach? … … Continue reading
Linked 2 Leadership

Choose authenticity over branding, ex-Ogilvy & Mather CEO says

The problem with “personal brand” is that it assumes people need to present a persona when they really need to be themselves, -More

SmartBrief on Leadership

“Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.” – Voltaire

“Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.” – Voltaire
Quotes Daddy – Quote of the Day

It’s Not About the Money

There was a time when I was absolutely obsessed with keeping track of my money. I checked all of my account balances daily. I recalculated my net worth on a weekly basis. I meticulously tracked every single expense. I didn’t want to miss out on a dime.

Over time, I mellowed out on this type of tracking. I still follow my finances pretty carefully, but I don’t do the things above, at least not with such fervor.

Don’t get me wrong, I still pay attention. I still want my spending to be low and my net worth to keep going up.

10 Magic Phrases That Will Make You a Better Leader

This post was recently appeared at SmartBlog on Leadership:
 
Want to be a better leader? Then try improving your vocabulary. No, I’m not talking adding the latest management and leadership buzzwords or jargon to your repertoire. If that’s what you’re looking for, try the Wall Street Journal’s Business Buzzwords Generator. You’ll be able to walk around uttering leadership gibberish such as Moving forward, it’s time to act with strategic vector and transform our team bandwidth”, and “Looking forward to 2014, ideation will be key to our ability to impact the solutions holistically.”

5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand and Business with Public Speaking

Public speaking offers women in business a significant opportunity to gain publicity, increase brand exposure and awareness, and drive sales.

But how do you become a public speaker?

First, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your field, and there are some very specific steps that you can take to do it. Following are fives steps to get started:

1. Determine your area of expertise.

Every public speaker brings something specific to the audience she speaks to, and that something is usually related to her area of expertise.