Storytelling, Perspective, Communication

by Edward Henkler on August 19, 2014

The goal of communication is to transmit information to the listener.  Yes, I know we need to spend more time listening and it is a frequent post topic.  In this case however, I’m referencing those judiciously chosen moments when we are speaking.  Speakers can overwhelm you with knowledge, insights, or sometimes just words.  The most effective speakers (think Abraham Lincoln) strove for a simple and cogent message.  Remembering the goal of transmitting information to the listener, they focused on the most effective way to have their message understood.  There is no need to impress you with my erudition (I mean prove I’m smart).  I just want you to hear me and be eager to implement my guidance.


Storytelling – open book of internet story

Storytelling has long been recognized as an exceptionally effective means of delivering a message.  Humans have been remembering stories from the earliest moments of civilization.  An illustrative story is far more likely to be remembered than an instruction manual but let’s go one step further.  I recently read Joel Rosenberg’s “The Auschwitz Escape”, a harrowing tale and love story based on the reality of the Holocaust.  I would have previously said I was knowledgeable about the subject but now realize how little I understood.  As long time readers know, I am a lover of fiction while simultaneously recognizing the value of business books.  Joel’s story will stick with me the way histories never did, yet I have a good friend who not even pick up a work of fiction.  That’s neither good nor bad, just the reality of how you must communicate differently with different audiences.

For me, bring on the historical fiction, science fiction and business fables.  For others, you better roll out the scholarly tome or PhD-penned business book.  Remember the goal is to be heard (and ditch the instruction manuals).

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