Yes, knowing how to tell a story will increase your ability to influence others. Stories build trust, emotional resonance and encourage people to come to their own conclusions. When you have the intuitive sense to know when to tell which story it gets even better. Preparing yourself with several well-developed personal stories, you�ll be able to connect your listeners with the appropriate message at the right time.
When you first meet an individual or group of people, have a story that tells why you do what you do. How did you get into it? Do you have a personal reason for doing what you do?
If you want to build credibility, share a testimonial or a story about someone who has benefited from your cause.
If you think you might meet with resistance, tell a story of someone with a similar resistance who overcame it. (Or maybe share your own genuine story of resistance.)
When you understand the specific feeling of the person or people you�re talking with, you�ll be able to meet them where they are. When you meet people where they are, no one feels like they�re wrong. (which is the ultimate persuasion killer) Once you�ve built that connection, you�ll be able to help them make a positive change.
I often ask my clients what they�d want to hear if someone approached them about changing their mind or giving money to their cause. Seeing it from this angle encourages authentic dialogue and they instantly become more successful.
I think it�s important to tell yourself a story of hope before trying to uplift others. The other day I decided to sit down with a pen and paper and write which stories I�d tell myself if I was feeling hopeless, cynical, resentful, jealous or apathetic. I came up with a different story for each one. I inspired myself and felt more connected to truth.
Join us on March 1 at 2pm ET for Ventureneer’s free webinar: What Every Nonprofit Leader and Social Entrepreneur Should Know About Engaging Listeners led by Pamela Zieman, for more practical skills on storytelling, humor, passion and thinking on your feet. Register here.
Pamela Ziemann is a guest blogger and author of Giving Voice to Your Cause.