This three-element process will enable you to construct compelling, concise and relevant stories in situations where you want your audience or colleagues to step into your experience and ‘buy in’ to your key message.

Your stories should paint a vivid picture that shares an experience or allows your colleague to appreciate your activities and accept the information you’re presenting so they act upon them.

It should be emotionally engaging, sensory rich and an experience that is clear, specific and offers a beneficial lessons or key messages that you want to be accepted.

Some may call these stories parables of life, a snapshot of your history or a journey that you are inviting your listener to take with you.

To be truly impactful, a story, like a joke, should be short, it should have resonance in the audience’s world and leave them with a sense that they have experienced it along with you.

A positive experience exercise.

To start thinking about the power of storytelling in my seminars I ask the delegates to think of a story that is a positive experience or illustrates a life lesson that they want to impart to others. One that, when they think about it, really excites them.

You are looking for a story that you feel was a major achievement; that made you feel proud, energised or had a profound, positive effect on your life. It can be taken from any moment in your life. It should be no more than two minutes long.

In a work environment you can translate the lesson learnt using a personal story to a business-related situation. The following elements form the basis of effective storytelling and are divided and timed into these three sections.


This should set the scene for the story and describe the overarching incident/issue/problem.
(30 seconds).


This illustrates what happened. How did you resolve the issue?
The words you use should tap into all our senses. The sounds, the colours, the feelings and the smells – everything that brings the story alive in your listeners’ minds. (75 seconds)

Benefit /Outcome

What was the benefit, life lesson, consequence to you as the storyteller, the company, the team, the individual?
To enhance the benefit statement further it should be encapsulated in 5 -7 words, like a tag line or newspaper headline (15 seconds).

This framework can be used in any situation where you need to influence and persuade others to your point of view, deliver relevant information or update them on your activities.