frustrated by her inability to handle
the needs of stranded passengers.
4. Development: You’ve shared the
problem; now pull together all the
details. Keep your development simple and clear. Help your readers step
into the situation with straightforward
explanations and descriptions.
5. Resolution: You’ve hooked your
readers and described the problem.
Now offer swift action and clear solutions. In a long story, told over many
chapters in a book or throughout a
lengthy presentation, try withholding
the resolution until later to create suspense—and lock in attention.
6. Conclusions and call to action: In
nonfiction books, articles, presentations, even email, your story can
lead readers to take the action you
want them to—buy, buy in, change,
improve, respond and so forth.
Create a story inventory
So where do you find stories you can
use in your communications?
• Begin with myths, fables, parables
and historical accounts. These work
well because most people are already
familiar with them. Even popular
movies are a good source of compelling stories.
• Start a story inventory of your own.
Spend time recalling and cataloging
experiences, observations and anecdotes from your life.
• Host a story party at work. Order
in pizza and enjoy the opportunity
to share and gather stories, both
personal and professional. You can
use other people’s stories simply by
introducing them with “A colleague
recently told me…”
• Keep your inventory handy so you
can easily find the perfect story to
enliven and reinforce your message.
Stories have the power to inform,
inspire and intrigue. They entertain
and educate, offering a much-needed
respite from the reams of information confronting everyone today. And
when stories deliver the results you
need, you’ll live happily ever after.
about the author
Lynda McDaniel, “Your Write with
Confidence Coach,” is based in the San
Francisco Bay Area and works with
clients worldwide. Visit her website at
tell your story in stages
Whether your story is in a
blog, book, article, report
or presentation, consider
telling it in stages. Maybe
your story runs throughout
the entire piece. Maybe
it’s interspersed at various
points. Maybe it starts and
ends a section. Use stories
in creative ways to encourage your readers to keep