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Good stories captivate us. They grab our attention and focus. They transport us to another place and time where our imagination is free to roam and play.

Everyone loves stories. We are mesmerized by good storytellers, and we love to tell our own stories. After all, we are the sum total of all of our stories, real and imagined.

I’ve written before on this blog about the power of stories to connect us with others and how telling or personal story makes our pitch more memorable. But how can business leaders effectively use storytelling? I had not given this much thought until I read Peter Guber’s article last week in Harvard Business Review.

Peter says:

A story is a vehicle that puts facts into an emotional context. The information in a story doesn’t just sit there as it would in a list or data dump. Instead, it’s built to create suspense and engages your listeners in its call to action….Research on memory conclusively shows that all the critical details, data, and analytics are more effectively emotionalized and metabolized by the listener when they’re embedded in a  story – and they become significantly more actionable.

Stories have the power to move others to action. They are inspiring, motivating, and sometimes didactic. They provide what Peter calls “emotional transportation”.

Good stories, well told, turn people into apostles and advocates of your brand, services, mission or cause.

Think about your next staff meeting, sales presentation, or keynote. How can you use a story to provide the emotional transportation you need to move your audience to action?