Storytelling is a hot topic, and using storytelling in business settings is becoming more common. Two reasons for this are that we all love stories, and that stories are centuries old way of communicating. The ancient art of storytelling is a great tool to make our work easier and more fun! We are not always aware of it, but we are constantly telling each other stories. Stories are powerful and effective to transfer your vision, strategy or approach. We can benefit from it in our work.
Good stories surprise us. They have compelling characters. They make us think, make us feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that numbers and text on a slide with a bar graph don’t.
Storytelling will increase your impact on the organisation. Stories make presentations better. Stories make ideas stick. Stories help us persuade.
Beautiful stories have fascinated me since I can remember. As a child, I already devoured stacks of books. The best memories of primary school are those where my teacher read and I listened breathlessly. He literally dragged me into the story. Thinking back about the stories of my the adventures in the Red Sea, the evening where we sat around the fire, drinking a beer and divers told each other stories about their diving adventures. The diving itself, but also the stories, make these holidays extra special. It gave meaning to what we did there and created a special bond.
For years I have seen how IT people often struggle to connect with the business. Not speaking the same language and communicating and reporting preferably in a quantitative, methodical way. Rapid Software Testing taught me about the Testing Story: tell a story about the product, what you saw, what you did to gather that information and how valuable that information is. The beginning of my journey called storytelling. I wanted to know more and went looking for more information about storytelling. Eventually I came in contact with Mieke Bouma from the Storytelling Academy and we did a workshop together for software testers. I signed up for the 3-day basic training at the Storytelling Academy. It felt good and I started doing the study “Chief storytelling”. For my graduation assignment, my employer gave me the opportunity to write the corporate story. A great challenge where I worked on the mission & vision, strategy and communication. During this journey I also worked on less concrete things like culture and core values.
A human life is a journey, a collection of stories. An organization makes the same journey. Stories about customers with whom we have been working together for years. Stories told by colleagues and clients collected make the organisation what it is.
Resources I recommend:
- The Future of Storytelling (Online course)
- Why Stories Matter
- The science behind storytelling
- Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling
- Using Storytelling in Change Management
- What Are The Clues To A Good Story?
- Why Storytelling Will Be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next 5 Years
- Hero’s Journey
- Pat Soloman: What is the Hero’s Journey?
- Matthew Winkler: What makes a hero?
- Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story
- Julian Friedmann: The mystery of storytelling
- Suzanne Duncan: The dark side of storytelling
- Nancy Duarte: The secret structure of great talks
- The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo
- Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall (look at his TEDx talk too)
- Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Whoever tells the best story wins by Annette Simmons
- Resonate by Nancy Duarte
- Storytelling in 12 stappen by Mieke Bouma
- De held in je eigen verhaal by Mieke Bouma
- Het verhaal van je leven by Mieke Bouma
- Storypower by Annet Scheringa
- Echte leiders hebben een goed verhaal by Astrid Schutte
- No story, no glory by Theo Hendriks
Presentations & workshops about storytelling by me
- Workshop “Storytelling for test professionals“
- Keynote “Stories that make you awesome“
- Workshop “Storytelling for agile & test professionals“
- Workshop “Telling the testing story – storytelling for testers“
Contact me if you are interested to learn more about storytelling!
… still more to come!