Be a Story-Sharing Magician – Tip #47

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How do we create magic when sharing stories?

Which elements are needed to make not just the story, but the experience of learning it special and impactful?

“Knowledge is Power” goes the old saying. But the thing about power is that you have to know how to use it, and you need to know that sharing power is more important than holding on to it for yourself. The act of sharing knowledge– story sharing – needs a special brand of skill and competence. Use that power to be a wizard and perform story sharing magic!

The Magic of Stories

In her academic paper, Knowledge Sharing-The Value Of Story Telling published in the International Journal of Organisational Behaviour, Helen J Mitchell argues that organizations or companies that do not have a knowledge-sharing culture suffer negative effects, since it is an approach for passing on the information, and a means through which the company traditions and culture are preserved.

Extensions of Story-Based Learning Design

Story-Based Learning Design encompasses the development of learning lessons and the facilitation of story-sharing. It is in the story-sharing that trainers, mentors, coaches and leaders extend and expand the “viral effect” of lesson stories. A good story lesson distributes factual content and knowledge much more rapidly and penetrates learners’ minds more deeply.

A good example of this is the Apartment Manager Story we last saw in our Positive Stories article. Using a story with a strong emotional core grabs learners’ attention and encourages an empathetic reaction that makes the lesson come alive, relatable and memorable. These kinds of stories – and the lessons they illustrate – stick!  

Putting it all together: Wand, Spell, and Stage

1. Your Wand:  Choosing the right story

In her book, “Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins,” author Annette Simmons enumerates six different kinds of stories used for business purposes. For our purposes, we can look at these classifications that apply: 

Teaching Stories can change their behavior, perspective, or skills and lead to meaningful results
Use with product training, sales training, skills training
Vision Stories inspire people, and link their actions to a specific, valuable, and worthy outcome. Use with behavioural training and goal-setting
I-know-what-you-are-thinking stories allow you to anticipate your audience’s point of view, so you choose a story that deals with their unspoken concerns. Use with all kinds of training
Values-in-Action Stories can be positive or negative. You can tell stories that demonstrate positive values, or tell ones that highlight attitudes that you don’t want to see. Use with corporate values training, behavioral training, compliance training

2. Your Spell: Using the right story questions

We know that the Set Up, Relate, Interpret and Apply (SRIA) model involves injecting effective Story Questions for each step. Combine these with the right story and you have a well-rounded discussion. Learn more about the right story questions here.

3. Your Stage: Delivering the story in the right way

A story is only as good as the storyteller. Develop your confidence and improve your delivery skills to maximize the effect your story has on the audience. Add humor, drama, and flourish to your storytelling to inspire, entertain and educate all at the same time. Find out what it takes to be a master storyteller here.


Knowledge is powerful stuff, and sharing knowledge effectively adds and enriches the collective tapestry of stories within an organization. Understanding this will help you captivate your learners and create story-telling and learning experiences that will add to their overall value.


Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact   

Knowledge Sharing-The Value of Story Telling

Tip #34: Are You A Master Storyteller Trainer and Designer?

Tip #43: How to Use Questions to Immerse Learners in Your Lesson

Ray Jimenez, PhD

Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”