How Story Can Change a Corporate Culture

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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People Don’t Embrace What You Tell Them To Do – They Embrace The Story of Why It Matters

As you can see by the picture, I’m sitting in church. Now you know where I sit. Balcony front row. Don’t take my seat. I like sitting up here where my off-key voice goes out into dead air instead of some pour soul’s unsuspecting ear drum.  Anyway…the sermon was focused on helping us reconnect to the story of what we do and why we do it, which is exactly what I want to talk about today – the power of story over telling people what to do. Instead of just rambling about why it’s important and why it matters, let me just show you instead. After all, that’s the point behind using story instead of facts and figures  – because stories show instead of tell – and that’s how you have the ultimate influence and impact over your people.  So let me just give you an illustration of how story wins.


I’ll use a church setting as an example, but the same would apply if you’re the CEO standing in front of your organization. Let’s pretend that the church leader wants to create a sense of urgency in his people to look beyond their walls – to do more – to be more passionate about what they do – to care more.  The church leader might say something like:

We need to care more about those we serve. It’s important. If we don’t help them nobody will.


He could read this:

Which one you think would have a more lasting impact?