Telling a Story That Influences Others

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There are many reasons you might want to tell a story. You could tell a story to entertain, to inform, or to get a laugh. You could tell a story to a friend, write it in a blog post, or include it in a presentation.

While there are many situations when a story can be a powerful communication tool, for now I want to focus on one particular use of a story. This is a particularly powerful use of a story and one that I`m confident, because you are reading these words, is important to you.

As a professional and a communicator, you should strive to be a professional communicator; and professional communicators are intentional about what they are communicating, why they are communicating and how they are communicating.
The “what” and the “why” often leave us with the fact that we, as communicators, must influence our audience. When this is true, a story is often an important “how” in the communication toolkit.

Stories have been used through history for all of the purposes I listed above, including being influential. So how can you put their power to work for you?

Here are some important ideas to help you do that.

You must always start with the goal for your presentation, the outcome of your communication. Consider these questions:

The first big mistake people make is that they have a story they want to tell, and they decide to tell it because they like it, because they heard someone else tell it, or they can`t wait to try it. The story must be completely connected to the goal.

Start with the goal. Write down what you want your audience to do as a result. Once that is clear, then, and only then, do you look for or select your story.

Communication is always about the message and the audience. Don`t lose sight of this fact because you are suddenly thinking about telling a story. You can`t effectively communicate anything without remaining audience focused, but this is especially important in this situation because you are specifically trying to influence others.

Actually you aren`t trying to influence others, you are trying to influence individuals – one by one. Will everyone be influenced by exactly the same things? Does one story really fit all?

In short, no and no.

Match your story to the experiences of the audience. If you are talking to an urban audience, a story about rural experiences may not connect well. Make sure you are thinking about stories that people feel are relevant or connected to them.

If you are a leader trying to influence inside your organization, you have an advantage — you know the culture and likely the actual people you are trying to influence. If you are speaking outside of your organization, to a group of vendors, potential customers, or members of a community this job might be harder. Either way, getting ultra-clear on your audience and their perspectives and beliefs is important before you select your story.

Now, and only now, can you begin to decide on your story.

With your goal firmly in mind, and all love affairs with particular stories forgotten, think about your audience some more. Don`t try to find the perfect story, because for any situation there are likely multiple possible stories that would work in reaching your communication goal (again you aren`t influencing one person but a group of individuals). Consider these questions:

Remember – depending on your situation, one story may not be enough. Do you have a second story that will trigger different emotions, cater to a different part of your audience or help you create a more complete picture? If so, continue this process thinking about multiple stories!

The basic story is like a ball of clay. The maximum influential leverage is inside the story, but you have to find it, draw it out, and make it obvious. Now consider these questions:

You want to sharpen your story, remove the unnecessary parts from that ball of clay and refine it to deliver exactly the message and memory and evoke the emotions that will help influence your audience.

When telling your story you want to capture people`s attention and imagination. What words will transport your audience into the story? Choose adjectives carefully. Include details that will make a difference. Use sensory language to tell the story – how can you include the senses of sight, sound, taste, and touch into the story?

And when crafting your story remember that length matters! You are telling a story. Not a monologue. You are trying to reach a communication outcome, not recite the Great American novel. Your story will be most powerful when you are telling of it never loses sight of the goal you have for it. Cut deeply, adding back details and descriptions only to reach your desired outcome. Remember in this case that less is definitely more.

If you want your story to have the influence you want you must practice it. Tell it in your car. Tell it to your dog. Tell it to people who care enough to listen. Practice your words, pace, and timing. Practice connecting the story to the rest of the message. Practice how you close your story in the context of your goal. There is art to telling a story successfully, and part of the art comes in practice. Most people don`t practice enough. Remember that the story doesn`t stand by itself, but will soar with good delivery.

Successful story telling is both art and science. Taking the steps outlined here will improve your confidence and results; they will make you a more effective presenter, a more powerful communicatorFree Articles, and more persuasive and influential whenever you apply them.

There are a large number of success stories related to making money online. Passion is the common thread that runs across all these success stories.

When determining the best avenue available for making money online, it is a good idea to know what is popular. Commonly, investment sites and networking sites have a high viewer base.


Identify your passion



Making money online can be a liberating experience. Liberating because it leaves you free to decide what you would like to do, explore the market for what you would like to offer and return to the drawing board in case you feel there are changes to be made in your offer. You may be keen to sell certain types of books or products for a niche market. You can be certain there is a market for your services, the trick is to target your audience and attract them to your site.


Making your office space



You require little more than a computer with connectivity to start making money online. Designing a website may require professional help which is abundant on the net. Your website is your office space on the net. It should tell a visitor what you’re business is about in a short span of time. Remember, most individuals who browse the net visit sites for little more than a few seconds. Your website should clearly state what you have on offer and the buy, if any, option should be visible. Ensure that the customer’s payment is easily received since there may be low chances of the customer returning to make the purchase at another time. Invite critiques of your website and gauge reactions to website design and content.



 Face the lull



Though you have done all the right things, you may find that getting an audience is a slow process. At times, the best option is to wait and watch whether you are attracting viewers. If yours is a niche product that does not cater to the more popular demands of money and networking, you may find a lesser audience coming forward to view what you have on offer. There is no knowing how long the lull may continue. Your strategy for making money online may need to be reviewed or the look and feel of your website may require a change


Flexibility



There are no pre-decided rules for making money online. Be flexible in your approach. You get known in certain ways, by advocacy, being seen and heard. Start voicing your views on various websites related your line of business. Answer questions, be available for receiving emails and reply promptly. When you get into a dialogue, invite your audience to visit your site by describing what they will be able to view or buy.


Keep the money flowing



Certainly, making money online may take time to pick up. At firstHealth Fitness Articles, viewers may just start to trickle in. Consider options like freelance work and content writing to make it possible to sustain your self and your family. There are loads of options that make it possible for you to continue to earn while your internet venture takes root. These activities will also provide you a perspective on what other online businesses do to keep the reader base ticking.



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