Do stories really matter?

personal development storytelling May 13, 2021
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Do stories really matter?

The question is, of course, rhetorical. If you want to make a difference, you have to tell stories. And if you're going to make a bigger difference, chances are you need to tell better stories.

Having a great idea or a cause worth investing in is not enough. If you can't craft a compelling narrative that connects with the right people and a common purpose, no one will pay attention. Stories need to inspire before listeners will lean in and take a leap with you.

Remember that scene in the movie, Jerry McGuire, where Jerry, filled with righteous indignation, tries to rally others to join him in leaving the agency to start a new one, and no one follows? Ever had one of your stories land that badly? I know I have (and more often than I'd care to share).

Compare Jerry's speech with the resolute determination in Michelle Obama's call to young women to step into their power. What sets these two stories apart?

A compelling story can start as one about you. Still, it must also resonate with whomever you're sharing it with and create the generous tension that encourages them to step into possibility with you. No one wants to be told what to do. Stories that connect and enjoin others are about shared dreams and desires. We all want to be engaged participants in co-creating a better future.

Telling stories that connect and inspire action is a skill you can get better at through practice. Developing storytelling craft is enhanced and expedited when you have a process you can trust and trust yourself enough to invest time and attention to practice that process.

Ready to make a bigger difference by learning to tell better stories? Tell us your story early and often!

Scott Perry, Difference-Maker Coach at Creative on Purpose.

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