There is so much we are taught in our early childhood and so much we unlearn when we come across the stress and pressure of our corporate lives.
In the series of topics on what we can learn from preschoolers, or early childhood education, storytelling is the first one.
Story telling has been an age-old method to teach. It is not just used for narratives but is also a smart way to communicate a point and retain it longer.
How a narrator can capture their audience and keep them engaged for long is actually an art. As is quite known that each individual has its unique learning style, a story teller can cater to all those learning styles while narrating, thereby customizing the narration for whichever type of intelligence bracket you fall into.
This technique is quite useful in the corporate world during your seminars, presentations, interviews and meetings.
Although humor and pictures are emphasized by a lot of people, it’s not just these two which can help you improvise. There are various things you can do.
1. Using logic – asking questions in between the narration, to intrigue the audience and get them to think. Putting up a question for them to ponder is a hook to have them eagerly waiting to hear your answer or the remaining story. Don’t hesitate to use this in an interview. Give the interviewer the dilemma/ challenge you faced, pause for him to look for the solution silently in his mind and then narrate how you sorted it out.
2. Using kinesthetic – Asking the audience to use their body during the narration helps capture the attention of those “restless” ones who cannot sit for long. Hand gestures, facial expressions or even the act of standing up are all parts of the kinesthetic intelligence. A lot of times we use this in school on those active children who refuse to sit during the session. A smart teacher makes them responsible for using the props. How do we use it in corporate world? During a seminar, the narrator can ask the audience to make hand gestures, like raising hands, patting their backs or simply clapping.
3. Using music – Quite clichéd but actually effective. Music is known to capture an instant attention of the crowd. A little piece of beat boxing, a small vocal percussion during the story telling session like “..and kadaboom , there I landed myself a new job in that organization” will interest the musically inclined audience.
4. Using pictures – A pitch quite intriguing that I once saw as an investor, was the one which used only pictures. Those pictures were not just humorous but also used spatial intelligence very effectively. Using pictures during story telling helps in longer retention. Infographics and charts therefore have to be interesting to keep your audience intrigued. An innovative twist to a boring chart can add humor and pique the interest. I once saw a chart of a company with RIP headstones used as milestones for every product that went obsolete.
Story telling is crucial since it is a way of communicating with our peers. Often, we find a person interesting or an entertainer if he uses most of these points in their communication. A video that you put up on Linkedin, a presentation or just a regular conversation that you have with your peers are rather just good stories and you can inculcate most of these points.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do write in or comment below.