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The Magic of Storytelling to Amplify Your Message

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the Professional Speakers Association South Australian Chapter meeting.

My topic: The Magic of Storytelling to Amplify Your Message.

While it was lovely to be in a room supported by those in the same industry, there's something a little daunting about standing in front of a room speaking with your colleagues and especially those who have been in the business for decades.

I was reminded by a friend who was there that each and everyone in the room had bought a ticket to attend and hear what I have to say. They were there to hear about how to amplify their own message through storytelling.

I was reminded how. frequently we underestimate how important our message is, and how powerful it can be to share our unique perspective. As leaders, theres a common perception that our teams 'should just know' what we're sharing.

This is rarely the case.

Storytelling can bridge that gap, between sharing information and bringing insight.

I think storytelling is one of the most powerful ways you can engage and connect with people. There's three key pieces you need to become an engaging storyteller You need to be Memorable The story needs to be Relatable and last, but not least, Repeatable. Memorable When a story is memorable, it's because the story has activated the V4 part of our brain which is responsible for colours and pictures. To tell a memorable story you need to include the details. What happened... Who was there... When was it.. Where was it... To really amplify your message, stick to the VAKs (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) What did it look like (Visual)? Was it dark, bright, sunny, dreary? What could you hear (Auditory)? Was there loud music, could you hear a pin drop, was the silence deafening? What did it feel like (Kinaesthetic)? what was the emotion you were going through, was it a hostile meeting

Relatable One of the best pieces of feedback I receive is "Ally was so relatable". I love when audiences say this, and I love when leaders in our programs finally 'get it' because they can relate to the real-world stories being shared and begin to understand the magic in sharing their own stories. As a leader, I'm sure you have so many real-world stories that your team can relate to. Sometimes it's the most simple of stories that have the biggest impact. Repeatable I often say to my clients, keep communicating... when you're sick of saying it, they're finally hearing it. Making sure your stories are repeatable, by you and by others. Making sure that your story isn't too painful to retell is so important, otherwise your message will be lost in the emotion. It's too long or complex to retell. and has a purpose behind it. It's also important to recognise when a story isn't hitting the mark. If it doesn't work ditch it, or see if you can refine it to make it a better story. Linking it all together It's all well and good to have funny, engaging stories. But, making sure it links back to your message is the key piece. Being able to link the purpose of your story in a relatable way, makes you memorable, and makes the story and the lesson memorable. Last week, I gave the room a challenge to identify how leadership was a bit like... spaghetti(!) They came up with some great answers: It's messy. It can be boring, or amazing. It's plain. It's fancy. There's a lot of different types. Spaghetti isn't for everyone(!) All of a sudden we can tell stories about how leadership is very much (and nothing at all) like spaghetti. this is the power of understanding how to link your story to the message you're trying to communicate.

When you share stories, real stories, your team will have a deeper connection with you. When your team is more deeply connected with you, there's more trust, fluid lines of communication and higher performance. What's your spaghetti story?

Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Bird, Be the Worm, and Go digging for stories!


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