Storytelling for Business

by Nick Owen

Some general applications

Stories appeal because they connect with readers and listeners in so many varied and profound ways. Because they connect at different levels, stories lend themselves to a wide variety of uses. Here are some examples for business and professional contexts:

  1. Change the mood, state, energy level of a person or group
  2. Reframe a problem as a new opportunity
  3. See a behaviour or attitude from a different perspective
  4. Disturb a limiting point of view
  5. Challenge unacceptable behaviour
  6. Offer a model of a more useful behaviour or attitude
  7. Teach a point indirectly
  8. Demonstrate that a problem is not new or unique
  9. Enhance creativity
  10. As an overture, introducing key points to be dealt with more fully later
  11. As a summary or review of information covered
  12. To search out new possibilities and meanings
  13. To encourage debate and discussion
  14. To challenge or confirm existing mind-sets of people
  15. To encourage audience involvement and intervention
  16. To get the audience telling their own stories of their experience
  17. To develop aspects of presentation skills and public speaking
  18. To elicit curiosity
  19. To make a point more memorable
  20. To create powerful associations in listeners’ minds
  21. To demonstrate how the views and wisdom of other cultures have similarities to, and differences from, our own: diversity and commonality
  22. To make the abstract become concrete
  23. To tap the unconscious mind
  24. To shift a paradigm
  25. To encourage more active listening and response-ability.