The Power of Storytelling

The Power of Storytelling

The power of a story is that it conveys a message to the listener. It engages and activates visualization and allows a canvas to be painted in the mind of the listener at the hands of the artist (storyteller). Storytelling is valuable, consider that George Lucas the creator of Star Wars just sold the entire Lucasfilm business to Disney for $4.05 billion dollars USD.

The best way to understand the importance of telling stories is to put yourself in the position of the person conducting the interview. They will need to be impressed with your demeanor, your character, your appearance, your energy, your qualifications, your handshake, your communication skills and a whole host of other factors. However in essence the interviewer wants to know the answer to one question: “If I hire this person is my working life going to be easier/happier/less stressed/more successful? Or is it going to be even harder/more miserable/more stressed/less successful than it is now? And it’s pretty stressed already of course because the hiring manager is under-staffed. This is why they are currently recruiting.

In short they want to hire someone who is a solution to the problem, not an additional problem.

So what is the best way for you to demonstrate that hiring you will have a positive outcome? Tell them the story of you, in action, being the person they need to do the job. Anyone can and will say in an interview that they are organized, or entrepreneurial, or good at multitasking or a great people manager etc. But if you say something about yourself and then back it up with a story illustrating that particular skill or quality, then you bring it to life for the interviewer in a way that he will believe and remember after you leave the room.

No one else can use exactly the same story as you to illustrate what they have said about themselves, it is unique to you.

Interviewing successfully for a role involves telling your stories essentially in the same way that Hollywood tells stories in scripts – you should start with setting the scene, your story should have a beginning, a middle and a happy ending and the subject matter should be appropriate and interesting to your audience. Your story should always be positive and up-lifting. Make sure that your story is engaging and backs up the skills you put in your resume and cover letter.