Storytelling is an ancient art that people in communications fields have begun to appreciate. But how do you find the right story for the occasion?
Once upon a time, a storyteller (the Maggid of Dubnow) was walking along a road when he saw the most amazing sight. There was a barn, and on the barn was a bull’s-eye target. Arrows protruded from the target. Every one of them had hit the bull’s-eye.
And standing next to them, with a bow and an empty quiver, was a teenager, no more than fourteen.
“Young man!” the storyteller called out. “How did you manage to hit the bull’s-eye every time?”
“Oh, it was easy,” the teenager replied. “I shot the arrows first, then I painted the circles around them.”
“And that,” the storyteller told a friend later, “is exactly what I do with my stories. I learn to tell them first, and later I find the occasion to tell them.”
The Moral of the Story?
Don’t wait for the next time you’re putting together a newsletter or a funding appeal to think about what stories to tell. Put some stories in your quiver. Lean how to aim them. Then, find the right targets.