Leadership Communication: 5 Compelling Reasons How Art of Story-Telling Could Help Future Leaders

February 3, 20168:14 am668 views

Stories are economical in leadership communication. Why don’t all financial presentations include them? Future leaders need to master the art of story-telling to be able to convince members on the board about numbers, stats and projections for the company.

In April, many companies will have their year end, striking fear into the hearts of the finance director as they have to present their results to the board. It is a reoccurring issue that finance folk often fail to persuade others in the team and on the board to implement (or even just comprehend) a recommended course of action.

Perhaps the key weakness is story-telling and the art of making numbers come alive. The art of storytelling is something we can all learn. Here are five compelling reasons on how art of story-telling could help financial directors and future leaders to bring new life to sometimes dull official communication systems and processes.

  1. Story is a universal medium – it doesn’t just mean fables and fairy tales. A presentation, a conversation, a strategy are all stories. To tell a good story you do not need any special talent, however, we can become more accomplished and confident at using story to our advantage if we have a greater awareness of what makes a good story and some tools that help us to create them.

See: 5 Strategies to Fix the Leadership Gap in Southeast Asia

  • Stories help deliver powerful and memorable messages that motivate the listener to take action. This is particularly true, when presenting the ability to translate factual financial information into engaging narration. It can give your presentation a compelling edge to allow the message to stick in the minds of the audience.
  • Stories are economical – they can transmit a lot of information quickly. They don’t need reams of data for a good story to stick.
  • Most stories happen in the minds of the listeners – we are engaged when our imagination adds something to the story; what sparks the story is emotions and communication gets a boost with imagery and description. The message then conveyed is retained in the minds of the audiences. While at the end of the story-telling exercise, only 10% of the information will be remembered, you need to ensure that the key message remains etched on mind and unforgettable.
  • Statistics don’t tell a story but can be a powerful ingredient, they can:
    Add a sensory dimension (e.g. a medium sized serving of popcorn contains more saturated fat than an egg bacon breakfast, Big Mac and fries lunch and steak dinner combined)
    • Work on a human scale (if businesses were a soccer team all but two of the players would be competing against their own team)
    • Demonstrates a relationship (Deer are more dangerous than sharks. Three hundred times more).
    • Ask what the numbers in your story represent and how they can be made to remembered in the minds of your employees – only through engaging content that could draw human connect.

So whether it’s good news or bad news to be delivered, using story to help deliver the financial message can make your results more compelling motivating and easier to retain.

Also read: Top 5 Secrets for HR Managers to Promote Leadership Development

Image credit: areaofentrepreneurs.com

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