The Power of Storytelling Revisited

StoryAlmost a year ago, we wrote a post about the power of storytelling. In that post, we gave seven tips for effective storytelling and explained why storytelling is more effective than the run-of-the-mill bulleted PowerPoints that executives seem to like so much.

A few months ago, VC blogger Mark Suster wrote his own post on storytelling titled The Importance of The Narrative. What Mark did differently was that he explained how he learned the power of storytelling…by telling his own story!

Back in college, Mark was running for President of his fraternity. He recounts the day of the election:

So I came to our weekly chapter meeting where the election was to be held. I was up against Gregory Solomon, who joined later than I did, had less operational roles than I and who wasn’t in the uber popular crowd. Easy peasy.

I told the chapter the roles I had held and why I was ready to be Vice President. It was factual, short and designed to show that I had done all of the requisite jobs.

Gregory was into theater. He understood how to create emotional responses. I presented behind a lectern.  Gregory sat on a table in the middle of the circle and rolled up his sleeves. He spoke of broader themes, of better times of what his hopes were for the fraternity. He spoke on human terms. At a base level. He kicked my ass.

Mark lost the election, but it taught him a valuable lesson:

When you speak to crowds – whether 5 or 500 – you need to tell a story. Your speech needs to have a cohesive narrative to it. You need a thesis. You need to speak in human terms. You need emotion. You need to CONNECT.

Read the whole post here. It’s a great story, and being a story, it’s a great tool for remembering just how important storytelling is for creating memorable experiences, whether they are online or off.