The principles of a powerful story.

Learn to identify, capture and structure compelling stories that will connect with your audiences. You’ll leave this session with an understanding of the principles of a powerful story, and techniques to spot and collect stories through story-eliciting questions, identifying powerful storytellers and other methods. You’ll be able to master the art of storytelling and use clear, relatable and persuasive stories to engage your audiences.     

What you'll learn

  • What makes a good story

  • Key principles for good storytelling techniques

  • Practical tips for delivering a powerful story

  • Strategies to effectively end your story to enable audience interpretation

  • Four steps to mastering storytelling:

    • Ways to discover good stories that reflect your cause

    • Tips to remembering stories

    • Powerful ways to share stories for maximum impact

    • Refreshing your stories to adapt to different audiences and contexts

  • Examples of memorable stories and best-practice techniques

Additional Resources & Articles

Stories Worth Telling
This is a useful resource for non-profits, it looks at five essential building blocks of compelling stories, strategic story cycle, as well as at the culture of storytelling and the future of storytelling.

5 Ways Charity: Water Uses Storytelling To Inspire More Giving
Good stories provide an emotional bridge between people in need and the potential donors. Here’s the five key lessons for how to tell them. 

Frame stories for change
This guide outlines five core principles to frame stories for social change and tips to improve your communication tactics for social change.

November, 2018 | Published by Anecdote - Putting Stories to Work.

Hi Tom,

Welcome to the November edition of Anecdotally. Each month we share three things: a story, a storytelling tip and an interesting article. Before we get into it, don't forget to register for our free public webinar. We go live tomorrow at 4:00pm (US Pacific Time). For more information, see our events segment below. We hope you enjoy this month's content! 

Reading time for this issue: 3 minutes

A STORY: Dyson innovation really sucks

Last month on our podcast, Anecdotally Speaking, Shawn shared the story of how James Dyson designed and produced the first bagless vacuum cleaner. 

You can watch Shawn retell this story in 360 seconds by clicking on the image below.

You can listen to the podcast, and learn where to use this story, here

A TIP: Story-powered retail conversations for luxury brands

Over the last six months, we’ve been approached by a number of luxury brands looking to improve their in-store sales skills. The trend prompted Shawn to write a blog post explaining where storytelling techniques can be used within a retail context. 

The in-store sales approaches of luxury brands are often a variation of Connect, Dream, Try, Buy:

  • Connect with the client, build rapport;

  • Help the client Dream of luxury;

  • Try it on, try it out;

  • Buy, close the sale.

The salespersons role in creating the in-store experience is vital, yet many fail to Connect and conjure the Dream. They jump to Try and Buy. 

Sharing a story and encouraging a client to share one in return is the fastest way to Connectand build rapport. Once rapport has been established, the salesperson can share additional stories in order to establish the Dream

Depending on the client’s experience with the brand, three story types can be used to establish the Dream:

  • Foundation stories;

  • Product stories; and

  • Company character stories.

These story types are not only applicable to luxury brands, but to all brands.

You can read Shawn's blog post on story-powered conversations for luxury brands, and learn more about each story type, here

Telling a good innovation story
This article by McKinsey acknowledges the vital role storytelling can play in communicating innovative ideas so that they are heard, understood and appreciated. “Storytelling has always been important in business, of course, but in today’s environment, with executive and investor attention stretched thin by information overload, the softer stuff is ever more important for getting ideas noticed.”

Navigating The World of Non-Profit Storytelling
"Stories" — the kind that people remember and respond to — "chronicle a character who undergoes some kind of change or transformation." This infographic looks at the ways non-profits are using storytelling to engage their audiences. 

5 Fundamental Techniques of Good Storytelling
This article outlines the five key elements of a good story, including context, outcome, creating the experience, brevity, and conflict.

Storytelling For Social Change
This piece from Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of Frameworks Institute, is a short and punchy reminder of the five principles for anyone involved in communication for social change.

Identifying The Right Format for Your Story
Wondering when to use copy, images, video or audio to best tell your story? This article shares the best ways to reach the right audiences with your stories.

Putting Stories to Work
The award-winning business book by Shawn Callahan—Founder of Anecdote and Collaboration Partner for this module—about Mastering Business Storytelling. At its heart, this book is a process for becoming a good storyteller. You can read an excerpt of the book here and purchase it on Anecdote or Amazon here.

Storytelling: 7 Tips for Charities
"When it comes to communicating your impact, show the audience how your work has changed someone’s life forever." Here are Momentary’s top tips for telling stories for not-for-profits.

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Collaboration Partner


Shawn Callahan

- Founder & Director, Anecdote.

Shawn is the award-winning author of Putting Stories to Work, podcast host of Anecdotally Speaking, and one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultants. He is the founder of Anecdote, the world’s largest business storytelling enterprise that operates in over 20 countries in 6 languages. He works around the world helping leaders find and tell their stories so their message is clear and memorable.

Course Handouts