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Storytelling (advanced)

1 May 2008

Netali Aroesti

In 2know magazine's March 2007 issue, an article titled "Storytelling" listed the advantages and benefits of storytelling as a method for implementing organizational knowledge. The article ended off with asking: when is storytelling indeed useful? When is it redundant and how can storytelling be interesting (and even unforgettable) way?

We will attempt to answer these questions by presenting a number of elements that can make an ordinary story to actual knowledge sharing:

  • The story must be concise, yet nevertheless must contain enough details and descriptions in order for the audience to understand it easily.

  • The story should be connected to the target audience's world of content and terms yet present a new and refreshing aspect that will fascinate them to the described event.

  • The story must be as authentic as possible and must incorporate "close to home" elements such as names of crews and chapter participating in the organization.

  • The message or moral of the story should be subtly hinted, not obvious and explicit. A target audience that reaches an insight through independent thought will remember it better in the long run and therefore the chance it will implemented in daily work is higher.

  • The story should cause a response or identification from the audience. Identification can be achieved by encouraging the audience to share their feelings and opinions regarding the story and discuss similar experiences and situations with which the listeners have dealt.

  • In order to generate a positive and constructive atmosphere it is preferable to finish off with happy ending which will provide the audience with audience with hope and optimism and aspire them to use the insight learned from the story.

Another noteworthy point is that practice makes perfect. The more you use storytelling in the organization you will grow familiar with the audience and develop effective storytelling skills for this audience.

-excerpted from Knowledge Management in Theory and in Practice by Kimiz Dalkir

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