Everyone Loves A Good Story

Everyone Loves A Good Story

When I first thought about starting a blog I had some pretty grand ideas.  I thought I’d pontificate on government relations.  Dazzle readers with my vast experience in communications and of course, my dynamic background in relations…hmmm; I got pretty bored, real fast too.

Clearly more thought was required…or less. What did I enjoy? What made me giggle, what fascinated me that was also worth sharing?  An idea came to me because of a dinner party I had. After dinner I was sitting with my friends and exchanging stories about our experiences with constituents and clients. We laughed and groaned depending on the story and generally had a wonderful time.

I love a good story. They come in all shapes and sizes, some are short little gems others are long and winding tales of intrigue. Often they are funny, but they can also make you cry.  That’s what makes communications interesting, the stories. Communications in the real world  isn’t about the smooth transfer of knowledge from point “A” to point “B”. No, what makes communications interesting is all the messy ways that it can go disastrously wrong or unimaginably right. What communications reveal more than anything is our core perspectives as human beings.  What we see, what we believe, what we know, what we do and what we intend are all rolled together. Good communications is about psychology and sociology as well as,understanding language and images. Communications, is as much science as it is art and anyone silly/brave enough to call themselves a communications professional, clearly has a sense of humour. I know I do – I laugh at myself and the world around me all the time.

As my one year anniversary as a blogger approaches (November), I’d like to celebrate by hearing from you. I’d like to invite you to share your stories in guest posts. The stories should be about communications. It doesn’t matter if things went just right or horribly wrong. All that matters is that the story struck you as one worth telling. Like the time I showed up for a birthday party late…by about a week, didn’t quite read the invitation. I look forward to hearing your stories and as always, your comments!

I will collect stories over the coming month and share them in December.

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0 responses to “Everyone Loves A Good Story

  • colerwiebe says:
    November 10, 2013 @ 03:02 pm

    Hi Debra,

    I too love a great story. I believe that as we grow older, many of us tell less stories and information is reduced to the requisite facts. Clients will demand brutal brevity in communication, then complain that they didn’t understand what was being discussed. One bluntly told me to save the silly stories for my kids and sum up our entire marketing strategy for the next 6 months in two sentences, or not bother until I “learned to communicate.” (We no longer work together.) Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys a good story, or at least these bean counters find them inappropriate in the office.

    One of the greatest story tellers and communicators I’ve heard was the late Zig Ziglar. I listen to his audio books often, and am inspired to tell more stories, not less. Thanks for the reminder.

    – Cole

    • Cole I have never understood the desire to bypass the the very thing that will get people vested in a product, place or person, the story, but we are living in impatient times and people often lose sight of their objectives in a race to reach a finish. It does beg the question, what’s the point of delivering your message if no one cares?

      By the way, if you could some up a marketing strategy in two sentences and it would be enough to satisfy your client, one of two things have happened, your client is an idiot or you’re a genius. 🙂

  • Happy Blogiversiary! This sounds like a great way to celebrate your first year.

  • Hi Debra,
    Congrats on a year of blogging.
    I can’t think of an interesting story off the top of my head now, but what you say about story telling is so true. It makes us all open up and listen far more than a dry presentation, I just wish I realised that more often and applied it to my blog. Not that it fits into every post or style, but sometimes it is fun to tell a story!
    have a great day
    ashley

  • Did you seriously turn up to a birthday party a week late? That is hilarious and totally something I would do. I think I missed my calling – should have been in communications 🙂

  • Hi Debra — I, too, can’t believe you’ve been blogging for only a year. Your posts are always original and inspiring. You were a week late for a party, whereas two guests were a day early for a party I was giving. I was in the midst of getting everything ready and had just stepped out of the shower the night before when I heard the doorbell ring. I opened the door and all I could think was — OMG I got the date wrong and everyone is going to being showing up now! After my original shock, I realized they were wrong and not me. I invited them in for what I thought would be a few minutes and they didn’t think to leave for two hours and I wasn’t brazen enough to ask them to leave so I could finish my preparations. I’ll never forget that day!

  • Debra Happy Anniversary, as you know you are one of my favorite bloggers. You are an amazing writer and your blogs are interesting. I am surprised it has only been a year as I expected from your expertise in wiring you had been doing this for years. WOW,

    There are two things that clearly differentiate humans from animals, we can tell stories. We are blessed species.

    I remember embarrassing my parents without really knowing what my sister and I had done. We were staying Chateau Lake Louise. At the time the hotel had a large grand staircase. My sister and I were in the bathroom and we were watching women put money in a machine. We had no idea what they were getting out of the machine. We went over and pulled the level and a small package came out. We opened up the package, had no idea what it was. So my sister took one flap and I took the other. We both went yelling down the grand staircase, saying look what we found. I will never forget that day as my mother turned blood red, but my father thought it was really funny as we had an audience. Everyone started clapping. Later we told what it was. It really didn’t have an impact as we were too young to understand. As we got older and realized what we had done, all my sister and I could do was laugh..

    • I have to confess I was at work eating lunch when I read this comment and laughed so loud that I was obliged to share the story with my colleague across the hall. I can just picture these two cute little girls running down the elegant and very formal steps of the hotel with their prize. Thank you for the good wishes and very kind words. I’ve loved every minute of the blog.

  • Happy anniversary! My blog is all about stories. The most current one is trying to figure out how to “pitch” my business idea, which I’ll be doing again on Monday, November 4th. I seem to like to go off-roading, a lot. What’s in my head, what I try to explain, and how people interpret is a wild communications jungle!

    • Thanks Stacy! Now a good pitch is the epitome of a good story. You have to capture the listener’s attention in a very short period of time and get them to have a vested interest in seeing how it all comes out. I’ll have to wander over to sundayswithstacy and see for myself how you’re story is going. 🙂

  • LOL You DID read my post about my mass emailing catastrophe, didn’t you? I’d have to say that exemplifies both good and bad communications!

  • Happy Blogiversary! During my first year of teaching I made the 25 minute drive out to my school on a day scheduled for state conferences. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed it was empty. Luckily, my boss had just pulled in as well. He jokingly asked why I was there. Turns out my rural school did not schedule teacher workshops on those days like the bigger school I’d done my student teaching in. Nobody had bothered to tell me. I was happy like a kid on a snow day though.

  • Congratulations, surviving a year is a great milestone. I realized today that I will soon be coming up on a year with my Misadventures blog.

    • Congratulations to you too Jon. I had no idea that Misadventures in Strange places was only a year old. It’s an excellent blog and the current series on the Coin Operated Boy is brilliant.

      • I know, isn’t it crazy, I only started writing fiction again this year. I want to say that 10th Day Brewing is 4 or so years old. But it was only a year and a half ago that I really started pushing it.

        Coin Operated Boy was quite a bit of fun to work through. Love it when I find stories like that.

  • The art of story telling frequently makes or break what we are trying to communicate. Great story tellers get their message across in a memorable way.

    A good example is when you listen to someone who doesn’t know how to tell a story give a speech or lecture. We stop listening and leave not knowing what he/she said. A good story teller, on the other hand, captures the audience and what is said can have a profound impact on us.

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Happy anniversary. Great blog and great idea. I’ll have to think about a story. Everyday is a communication challenge for those around me as there is definitely a loose link between my brain and my speech. I get my words mixed up often which causes much laughter!

  • What an awesome idea Debra. I too love a good story. When you think about it, communication is where it begins and ends. I’ll have think about a good story for you. I also look forward to the stories from others as well. 😊

  • Congrats to your blogging Anniversary!

  • Great idea, Debra. I love stories too. I’ll choose something that happened a couple of weeks ago.

    My husband Thor and I were helping to make and serve dinner to about 60 street people at a church here in Portland, Oregon. The cook asked Thor on the spur of the moment to lead everyone in prayer. He didn’t know that Thor is on the non-traditional side. I wasn’t at all sure how this would go.

    Thor went front and center. “Yo! Everyone listen up!” he boomed. The chattering room hushed.

    “God is about love!” Thor declared. “Food is about love. We made this food with love. God and food and love, they’re all mixed in together. Let’s all treat each other with love. And let’s eat. Amen!”

    I love my husband.

  • Happy Anniversary…to what has become my one of my favorite blogs/bloggers. My story: I was in sales in a heavily male dominated industry…heavy duty restaurant equipment. I was never one to follow the rules, which at the time for women, was dress for success…wear a suit, be buttoned up! I chose to wear feminine dresses and became famous for my thin gold ankle bracelet. It came to be known that at a very large customer, where us reps were all lined up waiting to present our products, I would be called in first. They attributed this to my ankle bracelet. SO…when I left this position, my replacement, a man, strode into that waiting room, sat down and raised his pant leg to reveal a very large S-link chain wrapped around his sock! Sure enough, the customer emerged from his office, looked at the guy and started laughing hysterically! “You with the ankle bracelet,” he said. “You’re first!” That story made the rounds for years!

  • oh, happy anniversary, Debra! It’s great how you open your blog for guest posts honoring this wonderful anniversary!

    Reading your post, i remembered a story that happened to me just a few days back. With my rusty Spanish (which i now have to remember pretty quickly as not many, if any at all speak English here LOL) – i wanted to order a glass of red wine which in Spanish would be ‘vino tinto’, but instead i ordered ‘vino tonto’ – which literally means dumb wine – sigh 😀

    anyways, on the topic – what is your timeline for these guest posts? I have a story i think is worth telling and have to do with making the extra effort and asking for the order when it comes to sales (the story is from a very simple every-day situation) – but as you know, i am a bit short on time. if i may guest post on your blog toward the end of November, that would be wonderful!

    Let me know and i can take this off your comments section in to the email to share more details about the story and topic 😉

    • Thanks Diana, the idea of opening the blog was inspired by a very clever freelancer I know. 🙂

      I laughed out loud at the story, how was the dumb wine? I would like to collect the stories throughout November and post them through December, sort of like an anniversary gift I enjoy for Christmas.

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