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the Case for Change Through Stories
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Me Up When the Data is Over
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is a journey of experiences, made up of countless small stories.
these personal stories
every day—when you tell someone
how you chose your career, recount the travails of an airplane
trip, or use an incident from your misspent youth to caution
You know how stories like these
can enliven your conversations with friends, family and colleagues.
Yet, these very same stories can also increase your influence and
improve your results at work as well as enrich your job and further
I learned about the impact that
story could have on my career when my consulting business reached
a turning point
several years ago.
For some time, I’d
been giving free presentations as a way of marketing my consulting services.
After writing the book, Critical
SHIFT, I decided to branch out and become
a paid keynote speaker. I figured all I had to do was throw away the
overhead slides I’d been
using and memorize my talks.
When I got my first big gig
as the keynote speaker for a major conference, I realized how wrong
I’d been. Without the slides, all I had was a lifeless collection
of facts. Fortunately, I discovered my mistake before I was on the
podium in front of 1,100 people. However, that AHA! moment didn’t
come to me until 12 hours before my speech! Fortunately, a friend
who I was staying with coached me on how I could use detailed examples
from recent life experiences to bring the speech back to life. Those
examples were my first “stories” and the start of my
education about the power and versatility of story in the work world.
For more about my discoveries as well as several stories you can
use in your work, take a look at this feature in 2007
ASCLS Annual Meeting keynote.
What about you? How did you
come to storytelling in your work and how did you learn to use it?
I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please email them
to me here.