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The Power of a Story

March 2012by Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D.

Dave was nursing a drink alone at an Atlanta bar after a client meeting when an attractive woman approached and asked if she could buy him another. Surprised but flattered, he accepted. She returned from the bar with two drinks. He thanked her, took a sip, and that was the last thing he remembered…

Until Dave woke up, disoriented, in a hotel bathtub, his body submerged in ice. He spotted the note: CALL 911. As he reached for his cell phone, he felt something behind him and discovered a tube protruding from his back. When the EMS arrived answering his 911, Dave learned that one of his kidneys had been harvested, likely by the organ-thief ring operating in the Atlanta area.

You’ve probably heard this story before. Different versions quickly travelled the country. How is that possible? Because stories have power. According to authors Chip & Dan Heath, stories – even those far less striking -- are “made to stick.”

Storytelling is an age-old, simple and powerful communication tool that can be applied to most business situations in which people are tired of hearing jargon, feature-dense offering descriptions, or mind-numbing numbers.

Evidence abounds that a good story well told increases engagement, enhances memory, and can even drive action. Stories make leaders more effective.

Invite and recognize storytelling efforts. Post stories. Create a story bank. Integrate story crafting into workshops, planning meetings, and impromptu gatherings. Give people time to work on stories. Build a storytelling culture.

Because stories work.

Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.
ResearchWorks, Inc.
12396 World Trade Drive
Suite 313
San Diego, CA 92128

Phone 858-487-8200
Fax   858-487-8264

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© 2012 ResearchWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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