3 Ways to Tell a Great Story and Why You Need to Do It

June 17, 2013 by Dave Ramsey's Entreleadership

ai_el_advisor_storytellerAsk any team member who works at Dave’s to tell you the story of his company and you’ll have an answer faster than you can say, “Financial peace.” Everyone knows it by heart.

How is that possible? Dave frequently shares the company’s history, struggles and victories at staff meetings, so the stories are as familiar to his team as making a budget. He does it because storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication around.

Dave is not the only one who has a history to share. Everyone, from a plumber to a dentist to a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, has a story. And with the availability of social media, it’s easier than ever to connect not only with your team but also your customers. The trick is to make your story compelling. And luckily, as famed storyteller Garrison Keillor says, it’s not an art; it’s a craft. It can be learned. To get you started on connecting, here are a few tips on how to tell the tale.

Get Personal

Put those Power Point slides away, because the best stories have nothing to do with charts, graphs and numbers. They are simply narratives that engage the heart, mind or funny bone. Get personal and share your mistakes, your dreams and your humble beginnings. Let your team and your clients know that there is a human being behind that company name, and like everyone else on the planet, you’ve had your struggles. Opening yourself up gives your listeners a way to connect emotionally and put themselves in your shoes.

Plot It Out

Just like a great novel, every awesome story has a plot with a beginning, middle and end. The best ones start with a dream or goal. They include the obstacles you faced, how you overcame those obstacles, and the lessons you learned along the way to success. Get your story down on paper first to make sure you’ve included all the elements, then try it out on your family to see how it sounds.

Practice Makes Perfect

What’s the best way to tell a great story? Do it frequently. Like the old saying goes, practice does make perfect. Your timing will improve, and you’ll find the parts that aren’t working. Hint: If your audience’s eyes glaze over or they start looking at their smart phone like it’s a piece of chocolate cake after 40 days on the Atkins diet, you might want to cut that particular section.

As an EntreLeader, you need to learn to tell the story of your company and tell it well. It’s one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal. When done well, the benefits far outweigh the time needed to perfect it. And that’s no story.

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Used with permission from daveramsey.com To learn more about business, team building and leadership, download Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcasts, which include lessons from Dave plus interviews with key business leaders from across the nation.

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