Everyone Has a Story

Think about the last presentation you sat through or the latest speech you heard. What do you remember? Odds are, you remember a story the speaker shared but maybe not all the details that were also included in the presentation.

Why? Because people love to hear stories and people connect to stories. Stories are interesting. Stories can be emotional. Stories can be humorous.  Stories are easy to remember and easy to repeat! 

Our friend and colleague, Sally Strackbein, (www.definingstories.com) says it best: “Facts bore. Stories score.”

Wherever you are called upon to present, if you can tell stories, your odds of being heard and remembered go up exponentially. 

I remember being at a client’s office just after a new CEO had been introduced at a town hall meeting.  People couldn’t wait to share how excited they were about what he was bringing to the organization. They repeated stories they’d heard from him. Some were funny and personal, while others told them about his values. One story he shared was about something he’d been part of that hadn’t been a success.

They loved hearing him honestly share that he didn’t think he was perfect and that he wasn’t going to expect perfection from them.  

 Here’s the best part — everyone has stories! Keep yours short and simple and practice before going public with your story. Odds are, you will begin to see the impact you’re having on your team or others in the organization.

Your story needs to be jargon-free and relevant to the topic — don’t be that person who tells a story that gets the group off target! Your story should have a beginning, middle, and end.  And, if you possibly can, include something in the story that your audience won’t be expecting.  If appropriate, use emotion — that’s where your story will have the greatest impact.

And speaking of stories, we told you last month that we’re working on a new book that will be released during 2020. It is a very different type of book from our usual business books. It’s based on stories we collected from business colleagues around the world. So, we’re committed to the power of telling stories, and as the months go by, we’ll be sharing more about what’s to come next year.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll incorporate some powerful stories of your own into your work!

No comments ()


Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.