Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Storytelling - The Great Motivator of People

In a data-driven world, facts and figures are the order of the day in sales calls, employee meetings, board rooms, and political assemblies. Traditionally, when a person is trying to convince someone else to do something they use the logic of benefits and features - long the sacred domain of anyone in sales.

And they are missing the boat.

What truly moves us as human beings, what prompts us into action, is emotion. Imagination is the conduit of emotion and well-crafted storytelling carries the imagination.

Consider this story:

You place your hand on top of your head, only to feel the sun radiate from your scalp. Sweat trickles down your back and the once ironed shirt clings to your sides. The pavement roasts your feet even through your thick-soled shoes. You've been walking for a 45 minutes, trying to find the office where you are scheduled to make a sales call. Suddenly, a swoosh of cold air swirls at your side as a young couple comes charging out of an ice cream parlor, licking swirls of raspberry and vanilla perched in a sugar cone?

I'll bet you're ready for some ice cream!

What engaged you was the reliving of a common experience. I didn't need to itemize the benefits of cooling off or list the features of ice cream and this particular store. You were drawn in by your imagination. Facts tell. Emotion sells. You imagined how you would win over the odds of heat by taking a break for ice cream.

We follow leaders who capture us by stories that draw us in and give us purpose for being part of the company. We buy products when we see or read of the human experience with that product. (Remember the Maytag Man?) And we accept the call to action if we hear a compelling story about triumph over odds. Think about the solicitation letters you get from non-profits. They are often stories of individuals who suffered greatly until the non-profit's "product" allowed them to regain a semblance of their life.

In short, crafting compelling, honest stories that resonant core values in action is a skill worth learning by any leader, manager, sales executive, or parent.

In his best-selling book Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting, Robert McKee, the world's best-known and most respected screenwriting lecturer, argues that stories "fulfill a profound human need to grasp the patterns of living-not merely as an intellectual exercise, but within a very personal, emotional experience." Or as USC leadership guru Dr. Warren Bennis states, "Man cannot live without story any more than he can live without bread."

What's the point you want to make at your next meeting? Is there a story that can be crafted to that point-not a sermon to be intoned?

Who has used your product and reported a wonderful story that came as a result of that product? Or did you even say, "Tell me a story?"

What stories are told in the coffee room about what it is like to work where you are? What contribution could you make to this story that could improve the ending?

What future do you want? Create a story about it.

Remember, people are not inspired to act by reason alone. The heart holds hands with the head.

© 2003 by Eileen McDargh. All rights reserved

About The Author

Eileen McDargh is an author, radio commentator, organizational development consultant, acclaimed international speaker, and retreat facilitator. Eileen is the author of four books and is a frequent contributor to numerous business journals. Visit her web site or contact her toll free at 877-477-4718;


New Socceroo star reveals motivation
Australian FourFourTwo
Aaron Mooy's stunning impact on the Socceroos has even shocked the man himself, with the Melbourne City midfielder having become a vital player for Australia in the last six months. And he has a new motivation now. Mooy has started Australia's past ...

BuzzFeed News

Huckabee: Pro-Lifers Should Denounce Planned Parenthood Shooter If Motivation ...
BuzzFeed News
Huckabee: Pro-Lifers Should Denounce Planned Parenthood Shooter If Motivation Was Undercover Videos. “If one violent nut claimed to be acting on behalf of the pro-life cause then he will be rightfully repudiated and condemned. But that doesn't ...

and more »

Straub attorney questions motivation of police union officer in chief's ouster
The Spokesman Review (registration)
The attorney representing ousted Spokane police Chief Frank Straub, Mary Schultz, said Tuesday the relationship between former police spokeswoman Monique Cotton and police Lt. Mark Griffiths has been unexamined by the city despite Griffiths' central ...

and more »

H.S. football: Motivation from yesteryear for Rutherford
Mike Schmeding, Tom Brundage and Joe Merli played for the Bulldogs' 1966 state championship team. Rutherford hasn't won a state football title since. On Monday, they told the 2015 Bulldogs that 49 years is long enough. "That's how long that record's ...

Daily Trojan Online

FOMO can be motivation, not isolation, for college seniors
Daily Trojan Online
Yet in these past 14 weeks I've also learned that FOMO is actually what students need to motivate them. It's the perfect cure to senioritis, the affliction that sucks the motivation out of students nearing the end of their school experience. It became ...


Andy Murray hopes Davis Cup win serves as motivation
Andy Murray and his Great Britain teammates are hoping their recent Davis Cup win will inspire people throughout the country to participate in tennis. Great Britain defeated Belgium 3-1 at the weekend with Murray winning all three of his matches ...
Andy murray urges trio to use davis cup win as motivation to move up rankingsDaily Mail

all 612 news articles »

9 to 5 Mac (press release)

Eddy Cue discusses the motivation behind Apple News and what the future holds
9 to 5 Mac (press release)
Following his interviews centered around the new Apple TV, Apple's SVP of software and services Eddy Cue has now sat down with CNN's Brian Stelter to discuss the News app the company launched alongside iOS 9. In the interview, Cue and Stelter discuss ...

and more »

The Union Leader

Paul Baard's Motivation Matters: Brainstorming a creative resource if done well
The Union Leader
Dr. Paul P. Baard is an organizational psychologist, specializing in motivation, with Fordham University, a former senior line executive in the television industry, and the lead author of a book on leadership and motivation. He and Veronica Baard, a ...

and more »

Times Record News

Duncan: Loss to Idalou has served as motivation
Times Record News
It's a rallying cry used as motivation. It's a reminder of what could happen when nothing short of the best effort is given. A year ago, the Bearcats didn't just lose to Idalou in the first round of the playoffs. They were absolutely overwhelmed ...


Oregon Will Use Civil War As Motivation For Complete Game
Players and coaches say the Ducks will use the Civil War performance as a motivator as the Ducks try and finish with a complete game. To continue reading, subscribe now for VIP Access. Are you a current VIP and getting this message? Click here. Also ...

and more »

Google News


Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © LLC. All rights reserved.