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Hope you’ve all had a nice weekend – I was hooked to the Australian Open tennis final in Melbourne yesterday, what a match!

I actually thought I would have been recovering from a minor operation I was due to have on Friday and which didn’t happen, but that’s a different story …

In fact, I thought I would write about storytelling today and the importance of being able to tell stories in English. Why is it important to be able to tell stories? Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate an important truth to another person. It is a connection point between two people. It gives meaning, context and understanding in a world that is often a bit chaotic. We remember stories, especially if they are told well and this tool is important in different aspects of business.

But first of all, we need to know the grammar of storytelling (grammar gets everywhere J.) If I said to you “My younger son picked me up at the airport last night. He was carrying a big bunch of flowers he had bought at the local flower shop …”, I would probably be lying as I could never imagine it happening but would be using the past simple to describe the main events, the past perfect to talk about background information and the past continuous to describe what was happening at the time. If you were feeling bold, you might like to throw in the past perfect continuous to describe the background, but don’t worry about that too much!

So when do we use it? A very important use is in interviews. If asked to describe a conflict for example, a good story would perfectly describe the background to the conflict including the task at hand, your action and the outcome or result (STAR method). The best TV commercials are also stories which  is why we remember them …

Click on the following link to read about storytelling in business and how to draft a good story:

Storytelling in Business: Definition and How To Draft a Good Story |

One of my clients in Düsseldorf, a successful media agency, made storytelling its motto one year and we went to Dublin to learn about storytelling at their strategy meeting. On the plane I asked the Irishman sitting next to me why the Irish are famous for storytelling. Apart from passing on values, wisdom and insight from generation to generation, he told me that if they didn’t tell stories, there would be a lot more babies …

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