Everyone loves a story. When someone says to you, ‘can I tell your a story’ or indeed they simply start telling you a story or tale have you ever noticed how people seem to relax back into their chair and listen in? (advertisers love using stories on TV right now). Children love a story as they go to bed, many find it relaxing as it gives them permission to drift off into a world of wonder where anything is possible. Many adults love to read as they get into bed. In corporate life many leaders or speakers use stories to enhance their presentation, share prior experience or to influence. How would it be if you could use stories to help someone to change their thinking?
Stories are great for teaching, influencing, motivating, coaching, imparting information, sparking an idea, helping someone see new possibilities – you name it, there’s probably a situation where story telling can help … I believe that everyone can be a great story teller. What makes me sad is when I come across people who don’t have the confidence to design and tell a story (with a purpose) tailored to their listener (even some NLP Practitioners, who I hasten to add have not been trained by me, tell me they are still not quite sure how to do it) – it always makes me think ‘what a waste’ because you could be tailoring a story specifically for that listener, to capture their attention and deliver your message. Story telling has been proven to be highly effective for Coaches, Leaders and those that want to influence others (like children, employees or clients) – how would it be if you learn’t how to design a story and were able to help someone change their thinking and therefore their results?
Metaphors: a story with a purpose
Without realising it, most people know there are benefits to story telling – for me it relaxes people, helps reduce resistance within the unconscious mind, allows people to learn and provides new choices and meanings. Metaphors are simply a story with a purpose and are often used to guide students to a state where they can learn easily and effortlessly. Myths, Legends, songs, poems and fairy tales are all examples of Metaphors – for example in a fairy tale good always wins over evil, generally. The best communicators know the power of stories – politicians are masters of them and religion is full of them. The good thing about story telling is that you can have ‘poetic licence’ with a story in order to get your point across.
3 Tips to enhance your Story Telling …
On our NLP Practitioner course well teach our students to design and tailor metaphors to their audience and elegantly deliver them to anyone – it’s a great skill to learn and students find it fun and a real eye opener (it’s really easy once you’ve got some of the basic NLP skills under your belt).
Below are 3 tips you can use today to enhance stories:
- Make the context relevant to the listener – tell a story about something the listener is interested in (e.g. if you’re telling a story to a child, tell it in the context of an interest they have; if you’re telling a story at work, set the scene so that the listener is curious and interested)
- Take a problem and chunk it up – if there is a particular problem you’re trying to address through your metaphor, tell the metaphor about something related but not about the actual problem you’re trying to address (in NLP we use a technique call chunking up and laterally to get to this point, which is really really effective but if you don’t currently know how to do this, simply try using a related issue – so it’s a little bit distanced from the actual problem you’re trying to address).
- Make sure they don’t know the story is about them – this is critical in metaphors – if someone thinks it’s about them, it won’t be as effective – it needs to be about someone else.
So fancy having a go at using story telling to influence and help people see new possibilities today? – have a go 🙂
Laura is passionate about helping people realise their potential, and achieve the results they deserve. She believes, if you change your thinking, you can change your results. If you’d like to find out more about Unleash Your Potential, you can check out our NLP courses and coaching options, and link up with us via our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or link up with Laura via LinkedIn. You can of course also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org