Thursday, November 7, 2013

On the role of storytelling

Storytelling became a popular trend.  While Steve Jobs made it popular, it is quite an ancient art.   My first comprehensive written document, submitted for promotion in the Israeli Air-Force, started with a story telling that when I started writing this, I had a terrible tooth pain.  The examiners actually were quite surprised, especially when in first few pages they had to go through a series of caricatures (I never knew how to draw, but I enlisted people who knew to help).   Their first reaction was -- this guy is not serious,  this is supposed to be a serious professional project.  However, when they kept reading, they understood why the story served as a good introduction to the project, and provided the ultimate motivation for what I am doing. Since that time I am practicing storytelling from time to time.  I found it very powerful, especially as a way to start a presentation, or in long presentations as a way to regain attention.  The art is to do the storytelling natural to the presentation, it has to be relevant and have a message or emphasize a point,  and not a distraction on out-of-context issue.   I notice that now there are even competitions on digital storytelling
The IBM CEO, Ginny Rometty, is famous for practicing storytelling.
Now I am looking for some good story for my next week tutorial in ER 2013.  I have to talk for three hours alone, so good stories are essential to get by...