Posted by: blogone | November 22, 2008

Can I tell you a story…?

Some time ago I had a really fun time accompanying two colleagues to London to take part in a storytelling ‘workshop’.  We went to find out more about storytelling in business and the author of a book called ‘Diary of a naked salesman’, Espen Holm.  The book uses the idea of storytelling as a method of improving sales techniques.
It was nice to meet Espen, however I do remember the rest of the people at the workshop being odd, very odd indeed.  For instance, I met a gentleman who told me that he was not in IT. He was adamant that he was in marketing, not IT.  I nodded politely, hoping to move the conversation on ‘what company are you with?’  He responded, ‘Lexmark’.  I asked, regretting the words as they fell from my mouth, ‘would they consider themselves an IT company? ‘To my surprise, the gentleman took a quite astonished look and answered ‘yes, I suppose they would’ and walked off.  Some of the other odd types included:
•    A person who told a story in a whisper
•    A person who reminded us that when we, or anyone we know, dies that there is someone at the back of the room waving a cheque.  This gentleman deserved a prize for having a business card that was designed to look like a mass card!
•    A racist
I remember thinking at one stage of the day that there had to be hidden cameras, because to be so many odd people in one location had to be a set up.  Someone somewhere was watching and laughing at the pained look on my colleagues and my faces.
It’s too bizarre to go into the characters we met in this post; however I have resolved to post the carry on that day, as a form of therapy for myself.
Experiences like this are a great way to get to know colleagues better and to just have fun.  I have fond memories of that day.
Anyway, the art of storytelling has not gone away, its important.  I’ve been listening to a podcast called ‘the moth’.  Its storytelling and it’s really good.  Check it out, http://www.themoth.org . You’ll hear stories from famous people and people like you and me.  You’ll be glad you did.

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