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Presentation Recap: Building Better Connections and Boosting Team Collaboration with Storytelling
Virtual Experience Series
Categories: Virtual Experience Series
By Diana Robertson
I had a wonderful opportunity to present at the PMI Virtual Experience Series 2021 on 6-7 October. This global event had over 42,000 attendees and included excellent speakers, virtual exhibits, and networking activities.
My presentation, “Building Better Connections and Boosting Team Collaboration with Storytelling,” focused on one of the most powerful communication tools know to humanity – storytelling. I reviewed how to build rapport, establish deep connections with team members and apply storytelling effectively at the workplace. I am sharing a few of the questions from attendees, along with my responses.
Question 1: Is any pre work required to frame the story and what needs to be achieved?
If you want your story to achieve a certain goal, then some prep in advance is highly advisable. Here is how you can make your stories bring you results:
First, think of a goal that you want to achieve through a conversation. Let’s say you want your boss to put you in charge of a new company project.
Then, think of a story that will help you during your conversation. For example, you know that your boss is looking for somebody with experience in organizing something similar. If you have such experience, this will be the story to tell. Make sure you illustrate the points your boss cares about the most, for example, that that project was a great success while being on a low budget.
If you don’t know what exactly will persuade your boss to select you above others, it’s worth doing some research too by either asking them or others in the company who might know what is it exactly that they’re looking for in a leader. You need that information to be able to select the right story.
Once this is done, it’s worth rehearsing it a few times. You can even test it on your colleagues and friends by asking them whether they understood the right message from your story.
Depending on the circumstances, it could be either a short (2-3 minutes) or a long story (even for long stories it’s best to keep them under 7 minutes).
Finally, pick the right moment to share that story. If your boss is heavily stressed or in a great hurry, maybe it’s better to come back later.
So to sum up, depending on the importance of the goal you are trying to achieve, you may need to put some extra prep in. Having said that, once you get into the habit of telling stories for achieving results, you’ll find that your brain will get much faster when it comes to finding the right stories, to the point that you can even find them on the spot.
Question 2: Should story on story be based on the feedback from clients?
Customer feedback stories are some of the most effective ways to create impact, so it’s a great tool to use.
If you want to use them as a means to sell your products/services to new clients, it’s best if you share that feedback in a storytelling format as well. So if you sell educational courses, don’t just quote the customer saying “it was an awesome course, loved it”, but find feedback that’s more similar to this: “before taking the course I used to be (problems & issues), but having taken the course I (some results)”. The second version bares much more persuasive power, especially if the problems mentioned were serious and the success achieved was impressive.
I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2022. Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2021 for more details.