What do lessons learned in the subject of company communication be applied to presentation skills? Both involve the key elements of persuasion. No matter what your message, or your medium for that matter, the art of persuasion can be applied to all aspects of communication, as well as, to great effect, presentation skills.
After meeting with hundreds of executives and spending years studying how leaders communicate, we have gotten to the point where we can recognize pretty quickly whether a company believes in the power of storytelling and embraces it in their everyday practices. Here are some signs that can help you tell if your company has a truly story-driven culture:
- Information delivery reflects a balance of analytical and emotional content—it’s not just about the facts but also about the context, both the “why” and the “what”
- The underlying values and principles that govern day-to-day decisions are documented in the form of anecdotes or narratives that explain their origin
- Corporate artifacts and “lore” are actively collected, documented, and archived for later use in communications and celebrations; extra credit for having a staff historian or librarian
- It’s second nature to look outside your four walls to learn from the stories of other companies, industries, or disciplines
- Your company places a high value on activities that foster understanding between people and invests in training to build communication skills
- Leaders at all levels of the organization demonstrate empathy in their interactions with employees, customers, partners, investors (even competitors!)
- People who exhibit authenticity, vulnerability, and creativity in communication are valued and recognized
- Communicating clearly and persuasively is seen as central to mission success rather than a waste of time
More than any other facet of our culture at Duarte, storytelling strengthens the foundation of my business by creating shared experiences that knit us together as a company and maintaining a unity of purpose that fuels our success.