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Storytelling WorkshopTrain the TrainerIdea for a 1 day Inhouse Seminar, Agenda incl. CostCalculationDirk Hannemann, Berlin11.09.2012
Storytelling WorkshopDirk Hannemann, BerlinAgendaNeeds further specification Storyselling Lessons learned from Peter Guber, Hollywood’s ultimate pitch-man (lecture, 30-45 min) Six Stories of Trust Learning to tell the story of your life in a way that people trust you (workshop, 60-90 min) Seven Types of Stories What story to use for what purpose and how to apply it on your own reality (lecture 45 min plus Do-It-Yourself-workshop 60-90 min) Styles of Storytelling The ideal delivery style and five problematic ways to be a storyteller (lecture 45 min) Typical Mistake When defining the right level of detail, avoid the “Titanic Story” (lecture 30-45 min) Tales for Presentations Using Stories and Metaphors to Facilitate Understandin (workshop 45-75 min) 1
StorysellingPeter Guber as “Hollwood’s ultimate pitch-man” is the perfect example that “the story”, notthe facts and figures, is what ultimately determines whether a project is green lit or not.A carefully constructed story conveys the message and closes the deal, examples: How Magic Johnson funded his breakthrough chain of movie theaters using a parable from the world of anthropology. Why David Copperfield weaves a deeply personal and intimate portrait of his grandfather into his magic show. How the MySpace investment by Rupert Murdoch, a $650 million deal, was essentially hatched in a single sit-down meeting.“Everybody is a teller of stories, everybody. If our species wasnt a teller of stories we wouldhave gone extinct because thats the method of the first hundred thousand years around theplanet that held us together, that bound us together. Tribes worked together. They toldstories around the campfire, and they used them to pass along the rules, beliefs of the tribeto be able to use the tactics and strategies so they can outrun a lion, outfight a rhinoceros,out beat an elephant. Otherwise, theyd have been eaten. And thats the way it works. Thosenarratives were our evolutionary advantage and it turned us from the bottom of the foodchain to the top of the food chain; from prey to predator. So it is part of our evolutionarytools and our evolutionary advantage. And its inside all of us, we are designed that way.”Peter Guber 2
Six Stories Of TrustWhether your story is told through your actions or in words, the first criterion people requirebefore they allow themselves be influenced by your story is, Can they trust you? Six types ofstories serve you well to create trust. 1. "Who I Am" Stories 2. "Why I Am Here" Stories 3. "The Vision" Story 4. "Teaching" Stories 5. "Values-in-Action" Stories 6. "I Know What You Are Thinking" StoriesWhy telling a story and not giving more facts?Story is your path to creating faith. Telling a meaningful story means inspiring your listeners—coworkers, leaders, subordinates, clients, or a bunch of strangers—to reach the sameconclusions you have reached and decide for themselves to believe what you say and dowhat you want them to do. People dont want more information. They are up to their eyeballsin information. They want faith—faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell. It isfaith that moves mountains, not facts. Facts do not give birth to faith. Faith needs a story to sustainit—a meaningful story that inspires belief in you and renews hope that your ideas indeed offerwhat you promise.Story No. 1 and No. 2, Who you are and why you are hereFirst example, before anyone allows you to influence them, they want to know, "Who areyou and why are you here?" If you dont take the time to give a positive answer to thatquestion, they will make up their own answers—usually negative. A consultant "selling" anidea will often waste time extolling the benefits or the logic of a process if he or she has not firstestablished a connection. If a group believes most salesmen are more interested in making profitsthan client success, they dont hear a thing until they decide for themselves that "this"consultant is different.Story No. 5, Values in ActionSecond example, "Values-in-Action" Stories: Without a doubt, the best way to teach a valueis tell a story that provides an example. Story gets you install values in a way that keepspeople thinking for themselves. "We value integrity," means nothing. But tell a story abouta former employee who hid his mistake and cost the company thousands, or a story about asalesperson who owned up to a mistake and earned so much trust her customer doubledhis order, and you begin to teach an employee what integrity means. 3
Seven Types of StoriesDifferent types of stories for different situations.1. Action A story to ignite action is likely to require a true story with a positive tone, told in a minimalist fashion.2. Knowledge A story to share knowledge is likely to be a true story with a negative tone, focused on a problem and presenting the context, the solution, and an explanation of the solution.3. Teamwork A story to get people working together will be a moving story and will spark similar stories from the audience.4. Vision A story to lead people into the future will be an evocative story, told with minimal detail.5. Conflict A story to neutralize bad news will be a true story that satirizes the bad news itself or the author of the bad news.6. Personality A story to communicate who you are will tend to be a story in traditional form, with context, characters, and a plot.7. Value A story to transmit values will likely be a believable story describing how organizational leaders dealt with adversity.Story No. 6, Personality / BrandingCommunications in business are determinedly impersonal. In times of rapid organizationalchange, a consequence is that trust plummets: people dont know whom they are dealingwith. Stories of personal identity talk about what happened to someone—the hero orheroine--who is usually also the storyteller. These stories have a plot. They are often toldwith feeling. Like tales for entertainment, these stories are typically colorful—rich incontext, with an evocation of the sights and sounds and smells and tastes of the storyssetting. Brands also embody stories of identity. A narrative that tells "who the company is"can tie the logo, the images, the products and services, the places, and the people of theorganization together in a coherent whole. The aim of the identity story is to put a humanface on the organization—and to show that the subject of the story has a heart. 4
Styles of StorytellingA plain, simple, and direct style of storytelling is most appropriate for business, but not theonly possibility. Here are some other styles:The raconteurThe raconteur is polished, glib, even elegant—someone who is always in performance,someone who sounds so polished that every story comes across as a performance, not assincere. In a corporate context, the raconteur is usually too good to be true.The stand-up comedianThe comedian is crisp, witty, sardonic, and topical, with the principal objective of keepingthe audience amused. The organizational storyteller may tell jokes, but the principalobjective in a business environment is not to amuse and entertain.The oratorThe orator revels in the explicit stance of talking to a large crowd rather than talking to anindividual—for example: "And so we see, ladies and gentlemen, in this instance, as so manyother instances that have occurred and are likely to occur, that what our organization doeswill improve the lives of billions of people around the world, and so let us pledge our livesto nurturing that cause." lt is a style of speaking that lives on in the political speech, but isout of place in the organizational context.The reflexive, self-conscious academicThe academic speaks with endless qualifications and reservations, all aimed at protectingagainst the potential objections of academic colleagues—for example: "Subject to whatothers have said, and with all due respect to what my colleague has said on the subject, adifferent point of view can possibly be argued here if we weigh the various conflictingpieces of evidence." Academics cover themselves against all criticism, but in the end, theyoften obscure the very message they intend to convey.The romanticThe romantic storyteller wallows in the explicit emotions of the story rather than simplytelling the story. Thus, at the start of the Macintosh era, Steve Jobs used stories based onthe conflict of good and evil to invigorate his team, describing the world in terms similar tothose used in the movie Star Wars: "If we do not succeed, forecast Steve Jobs, IBM will bethe master of the world".In a purpose-driven setting, these styles often get in the way of the business at hand, whichis to reveal the truth of the matter under discussion, simply, clearly, and directly. 5
Typical MistakeAvoid the Titanic Story!Make sure that the story still has the most important relevant facts in it, so that whenpeople go and check it out people conclude, “Yes, that’s pretty much what they said.”As an example, here is a quote that is factually accurate as far as it goes, but is notauthentically true: Seven hundred happy passengers reached New York after the Titanic’s maiden voyage.That story is true as far as it goes. But it leaves out the little detail that the ship sank and1,500 other passengers drowned. And when those facts become known, if they aren’talready known, then the negative backlash on the story and the storyteller is massive. 6
Tales for TrainersExample of a famous fable with a modern message for teams:“Six Blind Men and the Elephant”Six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling differentparts of the elephants body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar;the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk saysthe elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a handfan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels thetusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.A king explains to them: "All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling itdifferently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So,actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned."This resolves the conflict, and is used to illustrate the principle of living in harmony withpeople who have different belief systems, and that truth can be stated in different waysMany versions of the story exist and it is possible to draw many conclusions. 7