Get Better at Storytelling and Worse at PowerPoint

I have sat in countless conferences, workshops, and seminars over the years, consuming countless hours of content. Most of the time, the facilitator or speaker came well prepared and gave it their all. And yet, the vast majority of content I have consumed has slipped slowly into some inaccessible recess of my mind, alongside most of the names of people I’ve met at conferences. What remains are fragments. Some of these fragments are quotes or interesting ideas. But mostly, they are stories.

Human beings have used stories to make sense of the world for thousands of years. A good story paints a vivid picture, sparks emotion and can stay with us forever.

Unfortunately, learning and development tends to involve too many PowerPoint slides and not enough compelling stories.

We recently interviewed John McDonald, the CEO of ProActive resolutions, on the Cred Podcast. He explained that “Most of us are interested in stories that involve people. Personal stuff. When we listen to a story we always relate it to our own circumstances and think, "Oh yeah. I get that," or "This is what I would have done in this this situation," or "Why the hell did they do that?" Stories are crucial methods of delivering a lesson for us. If the story's a good one we'll go home and tell our partners, or the people we live with, and we'll probably embellish it or change it a bit and that's great.”

The temptation can be to convey as much information to others as we possibly can. Often, this information is really valuable. Unfortunately, we live in a society where people are bombarded with a relentless stream of new information on a daily basis. We also have brains that can’t possibly retain all this information long term.

Great stories stick with people though. They have the potential to spark inspiration in moments of reflection.

At Cred, we see ourselves as collectors of stories. There are so many great stories to be found all around us; in our own lives, in the lives of others, in history, and even in fiction. We encourage you to be great story tellers. By harnessing the power of stories, you can teach lessons to people that just might stick with them for many years to come.