Avondale, AZ, December 19, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- "Telling stories, that is using imagination and seeing situations from new perspectives, is the number one success skill for anyone, from parents to presidents," says K. Sean Buvala, the executive director of Storyteller.net and a national speaking coach for companies and their employees.
"Disney's new movie 'Bedtime Stories' of course illustrates the power of storytelling to and with children, but many folks also can learn to use storytelling as their primary tool for expressing the dreams, goals and successes of their business life. The essential concepts used for sharing storytelling with children come into play in any business situation. In the end, the only thing that causes one business to stand out over their competitors is their company story."
Buvala, a veteran of 23 years of professional storytelling, offers five quick tips for any parent who wants to tell stories for and with their child:
1. Learn to accept your skills as they are.
In the minds of your children, every story you tell is perfect. So, relax, slow down and think about what happens. Every story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Once you think of those parts, just let the picture unfold in your mind and speak it to your child. Put down the "professional" story books and tell stories from your own experiences and memories.
2. Let your children add to the story as you go along.
Just like in the movie, if your child wants to add raining gumdrops, space creatures or fire balls, take those items and let them grow in your story. That way, you teach your child to use their imagination and that their contributions to a conversation are valuable. Don’t be too quick to correct for the "right" way to have a story progress.
3. Look your children in the eye.
Buvala says, "I've trained parents to tell stories to their children and CEO's to tell the narrative of their company to board members. In all cases, looking sincerely at your audience expresses interest, increases bonding and grows credibility. Give your children a gift and look at them when you tell stories."
4. Use a variety in your words, not just baby-talk.
Children, from tots to teens, best learn language by hearing it used in conversation. Avoid the temptation to use baby talk with your children. Children grow to be adults so speak like an adult, varying words as you speak. For example, instead of "fast" you might say "quickly" or "rapidly," pausing to briefly define words as you go, if needed. In many cases, children get the meaning of words from the context of your story.
5. Start communicating with your teens before they are teens.
One of the most powerful ways to communicate with teens is by laying the groundwork for conversation while they are young. Storytelling by parents teaches young children that they are important enough to be the center of attention for a few moments during each story. Storytelling also teaches children the power of words, the ebb and flow of conversation and sequencing their thoughts, tools any teenager should have.
Buvala also states these same rules apply to storytelling in business. "Everyone starts where they are with their skills. In today's market, customers respond better to genuine sharing instead of polished advertising. Also, our business stories are ongoing and when customers can add to the story via social networking, focus groups, feedback forms and so on, they take greater ownership. Being genuinely interested in our customers' experiences and communicating face-to-face whenever possible is always a chance for growth. Finally, it's important from the beginning that our corporate approach be one that treats our customers with respect, never talking down to them, explaining things as needed, making a focus on customer needs."
Sean Buvala teaches a multi-day workshop for anyone who wants to learn to use storytelling for business, sales, non-profit or family use. For more information, please visit the website of "Ancient Secret of Public Speaking Workshop" at www.executivespeakertraining.com .