Activate Visualisation: An important rule of storytelling

As a leader you witness sinking morale in your organisation due to factors outside of your control. You are confident that employee care will always be your top priority no matter what the situation. In fact, putting employees care has been the company’s priority since its inception.

Today, you want to remind people how they have been cared for all these years and how the company will continue to care for them. So, you decided to put a video together, and this is how you begin:

“Since the inception of our company, employee care has been our top priority. We have in place an effective process, which takes care of you and your families’ needs.”

Is this a good way to start? 

This line is an assertion;  a fact or belief. And when said like that is a missed opportunity to communicate effectively. While you as a teller may feel the conviction of your statement, the listener will miss the point because it sounds like one of those corporate statements that are glossed over, time and time again.

So what is the solution?

There is a simple solution at hand to make this a story by shifting the script to:

“Since the inception of our company, employees care  has been our top priority. We have an effective process, which takes care of you and your families’ needs. Remember your first day with the company when the CEO came to see you at the orientation. You were given benefits like grants for education overseas, insurance coverage and a welcome pack with an employee’s handbook and movie tickets for the family.”

Now, what is the difference between the first and second narration? In the second narration, the viewers are able to visualise the story. They are transported back to their first day with the company. They are not just listening to an assertion but are connecting to a story.

Activation of visualisation is an important rule of storytelling.

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"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"