Sales Skills

Told Any Good Stories Lately?

Titanic.  The Great Escape.  Schlindler’s List.  Ray.  The Pursuit of Happyness.

What do these blockbuster movies have in common?  They are all based on a true story.

In a world filled with sound bites, ads, 140-character tweets, we seem to forget the power of storytelling.  Yet, when we tap into storytelling, we become irresistible! 

What is storytelling?  And why does it have such impact?  A statement by the National Storytelling Network (, an organization whose mission is to advocate for the preservation and growth of the art of storytelling, defines storytelling as an ancient art form and valuable form of human expression.

At its core, storytelling is the art of using language, vocalization and/or physical movement and gesture to reveal the elements and images to a specific, live audience.  A story is best defined as a narrative account of a real or imagined event.  The word telling involves direct contact between teller and listener.  The teller’s role is to prepare and present the necessary language, vocalization and physicality to effectively and efficiently communicate the images of the story.  The listener’s role, on the other hand, is to actively create vivid, multi-sensory images, actions, characters and events – the reality — of the story in his or her mind based on the performance of the teller and other past experiences, beliefs and understandings.  The completed story happens in the mind of the listener, unique and personal for each individual. (Sametz, Fall 2003)

Storytelling is one of the most powerful skills you can possess.  A story well told can make you smile, laugh, cry, swell up with pride, or rise with indignation.  Told any good stories lately?