The Power Of Stories

Return for a moment to your childhood. Good or bad, you more than likely have numerous stories associated with it. Maybe you recall your mother or father reading a particular favorite, or perhaps you find yourself laughing when thinking of an unconventional friend who just possibly led you into trouble. Whatever the case, those indelible stories flavor your life. In some ways, they even shaped the person you’ve become.

As you mature, your stories gain complexity. You add to your collection: college days’ stories, romance-gone-sour stories, how-I-met-the-love-of-my-life story, bad interview stories, car trouble stories, the-best-day-of-my-life story and the list goes on. (You get the picture.) The longer you live, the more stories you have to tell. And most of us, if we’re honest, love to regale others with our myriad tales.

Stories impact our lives daily. And not just our own stories. Think about the news. How often have you been deeply touched or disturbed by a report about someone in another part of the country or the world? Before tuning in to Channel 6, you’d never heard of this person. Yet 9-11, BTK (right here in our neck of the woods), the women of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ken Jennings, the victims of Rita and Katrina all became topics of discussion at the water cooler or on the telephone to friends. Each affected us in a different way. Maybe we held tighter to our children or spouses, maybe we dropped to our knees and thanked a loving God we live in a free country, or maybe we wrote checks to victims’ funds. You see a story told with just the right twist has the ability to change attitudes and stimulate action.

TV stories span more than news. A few years back, a coffee company ran an advertisement featuring a man and woman who lived in the same apartment building. Over several episodes, the attractive British lady and the handsome American borrowed a jar of instant coffee from each other. They hooked us by intimating a budding romance between the two. We watched anticipating the prospect of them getting together. In thirty seconds, they fashioned characters whose futures we cared about. When the Taster’s Choice commercial came on, we weren’t so likely to switch the channel. And years later some of us still remember — and smile.

Right about now, you’re probably wondering about the relevance of all this. It’s simple. Stories affect almost every aspect of our lives. They transcend reason. They strike at our core. Hit us in the emotions. People pay attention to stories. Don’t believe me? Check your own reaction next time you’re in church and the preacher relates a noteworthy anecdote. Everyone has a good story to tell! Still not convinced? Then consider this: when you create interest though stories, it’s much easier to illustrate your position or intrigue the listener to learn more. Next time you’re wondering the best way to get a point across in your next business writing project, try using a first-rate story. I’ll bet it’s a method you’ll return to time and time again.

Source by Shawn Catsimanes

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