I wrote a few posts on the basics of storytelling (not all independent). While no substitute for practice, observing, and reading comprehensive books, people have told me they helped improve their storytelling. Storytelling improves persuasion and a lot more.
Speaking of practice, look up http://themoth.org for great storytelling events and podcasts. The Moth is amazing. (If you search my blog you can find video of me telling stories at the Moth).
I see what you did there
I want the facts and I want them presented plainly and simply. I want to be able to go through relevant things quickly.
So, I definitely can't relate to this 'story'.
Seriously though, role playing is a very efficient training and collaborative brainstorming strategy. Which is one reason why both the military and police use it as an almost exclusive training focus (exercises).
Care to share which books you read on storytelling? I'd love to read them.
> For non-fiction storytelling
- Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452287553/ref=nosim/...
- The Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on The Wall Street Journal Guide, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452261589/ref=nosim/...
> For fiction storytelling:
- Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1582343306/ref=nosim/...
- The Modern Library Writer's Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375755586/ref=nosim/...
* Disclaimer: I am a professional journalist, but I believe that the fundamentals of telling a good story are universal.
Not very different than when people accept something as true in part because it gets communicated to them with nice sounding numbers, stats and figures.
Some arguments/explanations are inherently operational, and do not lend themselves into stories. Take the argument of creationism vs self organization and evolution. I am pretty sure that many people still don't really understand how evolution could lead to the complex life that we are observing now, and creation by intelligent designer argument joyfully fills this mental gap. The attempts to poorly convert the evolution into a story leads to misunderstandings such as people come from apes, or worse that evolution has a goal and humans are at the apex, or yet worse that some people are just less than others.
It's important to evoke emotion in your story. To be able to evoke emotion, you must do your homework. You must learn what makes your audience tick. What do they care about. Create a story that hooks into their world. You need to create a bridge between their and your world.
Maybe I myself don't have a story to tell right now, but I want to say that I believe that emotion is vital. Much of my guidance and initial decision making is often based on (gut) feeling. My emotions tell me that I'm not on the right track, forcing me to think and reason why I feel this way and figure the reasons out cognitively.
As an educator, I don't teach the book, I don't teach the chapter, I don't teach the lesson. Because that's not what you remember. What you remember is the story. It's about big stories, small stories, stories that link together in a narrative. That's what sticks.
Thus, humans evolved to hook into storytelling very readily--especially aural storytelling. This American Life is perhaps the best example of this medium.
Nearly every single one starts with a personal story, which probably means they are trained to use this technique.
And frankly most day-to-day presentations and even most pitches understandably don't have something jaw-dropping to talk about, or else they would attract a TED talk, no? If you're giving a pitch, chances are you have to convince the investor/audience with an almost complete narrative. Having a story framework is useful, but it has to have enough information that backs your assertions, which is not true for a TED talk. Data is important, but the art is in the way you present them. Having no data might point that you don't have a strong case, or just didn't care. So have one or two convincing data representations.
And slides are important, to help you say what you wont be able to say verbally and the second to guide the audience about the structure of your presentation. Most people aren't great story tellers. It's an art which few can be trained in. In those cases you need to use your slides to complement what you are saying and keep the audience engaged.
(Read the disclaimer on the website, and also this one here: It's not a real test, it's just a neat idea that sometimes gives insightful answers)
If you tell a story which is not true i.e if you gas around, you loose credibility.
True story gives credibility and BS would put the other person off totally, so be careful.
I suspect that the story trick (as all tricks that appeal to anything other than critical thinking) will backfire soon enough.