The Power of the Story

Concordia Consulting’s multipart series on preparing for presentations continues this week. In the past months we have discussed defining a purpose for a presentation, the effective use of visuals, and informal presentations within your organization. This week we consider the power of the story during your presentations.

When I hear the word story, I get a happy, snuggly feeling. I picture either myself or my husband, Bill, curled up on our bed or our favorite story chair, with one of our kids as young children. Some of our favorites stories to read were:

If You Give a Moose a Muffin
Mommies at Work
I Lost My Bear
And of course, Good Night Moon

But we had so many stories! When I traveled for work, I bought two books for my daughter Katie and I took one with me and I left one at home for her. I read to her from a car phone (no, I wasn’t driving) and she sat in our story chair at home. I told her when to turn each page. It was an opportunity for me to connect with Katie while it gave Bill time with our sons or to get dinner on the table. It was a busy household.

Even now, 15 to 25 years after those stories were read, I still can associate the feelings of each of those warm and fragrant bodies snuggled next to me while reading. Each child felt different and smelled different, and each one responded differently to the stories. What was the same is the power of the story that connected me to my children.

It is no different for adults in the workplace. A well-told story will connect us to our colleagues (perhaps without the smell of maple syrup still clinging to my jammies.) So, what do stories have to do with the board room or the emergency room?

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