Most leaders have found that an effective way to teach is through storytelling. Leaders like to use illustrations and analogies to make key points easier to understand.
But becoming a good storyteller is not easy. A well-told story is well constructed and edited. A story doesn't just pop-up. It is designed, rehearsed and delivered with a keen understanding of the audience.
Most of us have been forced to listen to a poorly told story with no real relevance to the discussion. It's just a story and it's boring. It did not add light to the discussion.
Storytelling for the purpose of leadership should never be approached as a random, spur of the moment illumination. It is rather to be designed and constructed with spiritual guidance. I offer these tips for your consideration and prayer:
1. Context – Every story should fit the context of the audience. We can tell the same basic story but with unique words and unique telling for each audience.
2. End it First – Think about how the story will end. Write it first. Have a very clear picture of the story within the story. How does the story help you make your point? No point, no story.
3. Experiences – Tell stories about your life experiences. How did you overcome? What changed in you because of the battle? Avoid telling stories in which you were the hero. Talk about the heroes who helped you.
(It's always better to tell your own stories. Let other people tell the stories they have lived.)
4. Edit – Storytellers fall in love with their stories and have trouble editing. It all seems important because we lived it. Leave your audience wanting to hear more of your story rather than less.
5. Rehearse – Practice telling your story often. Keep a journal or a digital note file of all the stories you want to share. Make notes about how your stories fit into various situations. It might also be good to note what story has been told to what group.
As always, we can learn from our Master Teacher. Jesus taught with object lessons, stories and parables. There was a lesson connected to each story about kingdom living and eternal life.
The best story we can tell is through the living of our life. We tell the story of Jesus every day based on how we walk and talk.
When people see authenticity in our lives, we may be presented with an open door to tell them the story of salvation.
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"Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables. And without a parable He did not speak to them, to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying: 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will say things which have been kept secret since the foundation of the world'" (Matt. 13:34-35).
Platform Tip No. 113
How do you define success in platform building? I hope it's not based on thumbs or applause.
The reward of an effectual platform is the help we give to others. Platforms are built for acts of service.
If we have a servant's mentality, we show up every day on platform with a powerful message to help people with their felt need.
Do you want to learn more about developing your personal platform?
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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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