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Stories that speak of emotions or behaviors have impacted humans since the beginning of time. Telling stories is the way people have always shared knowledge and a good story can be the star of an event.
Storytelling at a work event includes creating a specific atmosphere in order to connect with the audience as a way for them to learn something, create a change in behavior or to teach a new technique. It can be done by following these three steps:
A good story has 3 acts: the introduction, the climax and the dénouement. This structure, utilized by Aristotle, ensures the dramatic tension of the story. Use it to organize your meeting’s topics and to impart the primary objective in a way that will be remembered.
1 - The beginning. At the beginning of your event you need to share your vision or your objective. Present it as a shared dream to be realized with the help of your attendees. This vision will be present throughout the entire event and will be what encourages the protagonists (the participants) to carry out specific actions.
2 - The development. This is the most complex part of all stories. It’s the moment where there is confusion, tension, challenges, etc…the guests will have to learn something and take on new responsibilities and set new goals. This isn’t easy because it requires a lot of effort on the part of the participants. Therefore, the primary message or the focus should become clear at some point to generate enthusiasm.
And since overcoming obstacles can be discouraging to anyone, it’s important to give positive reinforcement to your attendees by recognizing the progress they’ve already made. It can also be the perfect moment to enjoy an excellent coffee-break – why not?
3 –The Resolution and Dénouement: The participants at the event have solved the problem, and achieved the objective of making a dream a reality. Whether it’s a grand or modest resolve to the story, fundamentally it is a ‘movement’ achieved by a group of people through the what’s been transmitted to them. Congratulations are in order, but before that, any remaining questions are answered by the author (event host). This final process, the ending, is also known as the Dénouement. It’s the time to tie everything up and leave participants to think about the theme presented. Then, let the celebrations and relaxing begin.
To do this, your story must be present in the entire event from start to finish. So don’t forget the following details:
- Create an image that helps others be able to understand your vision. Make sure it’s visible in your materials, decorations, launch of the brand, through your speakers and even during the breaks and/or party.
- Enable participants to engage with the story before the event. Announce the main theme in advance and send them questions so they become more familiar with the issues to be addressed.
- Make it fun and visual: use interactive games or emotional videos to share your vision.
- Don’t forget the post-event. The power of your story can continue by sharing the participant experiences on social networking or on paper: send your attendees the photo that best summarizes the feelings from the event.
Whatever message you want to bring to your audience will have more impact if it’s accompanied by a story that gives feeling to the different elements of your meeting, event or conference. Use the storytelling tips to maximize your message!
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