Storytelling is the most effective communication and persuasion tool ever invented. People remember stories; they forget statistics.
Have you ever noticed all the major religious texts in the world are filled with stories?
And why is Scientology the fastest-growing religion in the world? Because it was created by an award-winning science fiction author.
When To Tell A Story
I find that people are usually confused about when to tell a story.
Should you tell a story when you’re pitching an idea to your boss or your client? What about when your crush asks how you’re doing? Should you tell a story, or just say, “I’m good.” How about in your philosophy essay?
Fittingly, I’m going to answer with a story.
When I first started the Write Practice, I needed help. I didn’t want to bully people into helping me, though. I wanted people to want to help. The problem was I had nothing more than an idea to motivate them.
How could I inspire them to action?
When I sat down to email my first prospect to ask for help, I had a flash. What if I told them the story of how I got the idea? So I wrote out the story and clicked send. Later, I met with a friend and told them the story in person. I told the story over the phone. I must have told it a dozen times.
Storytelling is Risky Business
At first, I worried about how they would receive my story. I thought they would think I was wasting their time. Normally, I would have just told them about my idea. Instead, by telling them a story, I was taking a risk.
In our culture, we believe people are motivated by facts, by good information, by solid numbers. The truth is that stories are the most motivating thing in the world.
When I told my story, people responded. They got involved. The story transformed my abstract concept and made it real for them.
When should you tell a story?
The answer is whenever you can.
You want to change the world? You want to inspire people? You want to help people?
Start by telling a story.
Do you have a dream? Do you want to change the world in some way? Do you have a passion for something and want to make a career of it?
Tell us about it.
For fifteen minutes, tell your “dream testimony.” Write about how you got the idea for your dream. Post your “dream testimony” in the practice.
Come back tomorrow when we’ll talk about HOW to tell your story.