A Storytelling Guide for Those Who Stink at Storytelling

today's training -- tell a story


From Inc.Jessica Stillman offers a guide to telling a story to help those who are challenged with storytelling.  Storytelling is critical to so many interactions that it is great to have some guidance.  Jessica writes:

The site recently presented storytelling guru David Crabb’s simple five-beat plan to turn any meandering series of events into a tight and compelling story. What are these five essential parts of a spellbinding tale:

Beat 1: The introduction. Where you set the scene and tell your readers everything they need to know to understand why what you’re about to say is important.

Beat 2: The inciting incident. The question that your story is asking OR when the protagonist (you or your company) is faced with a challenge. This is a great place to show vulnerability; people are often wary of doing this in professional scenarios, but it makes a big impact when it’s done well.

Beat 3: Raising the stakes. A series of moments that give weight and context to the inciting incident. This is a great place to get specific and provide details that will make your story more memorable. People glaze over when you focus too much on broad strokes; details give your story a local habitation and a name.

Beat 4: The main event. This is where we see the inciting incident come to a head (aka the climax)… the protagonist solves his or her dilemma -; a pivot or a change (even if it’s just a shift in attitude) should occur.

Beat 5: The resolution. In the fifth beat, you have an opportunity to highlight what makes the story unique. If you’ve just described a failure or challenge, this would be the time to reflect on what you learned. This is also where you could try to sell something -; if you’re using storytelling as part of a pitch -; or recap your competency if applying for a job.

Read the full story at A Storytelling Guide for Those Who Stink at Storytelling

Thanks to Career Sherpa for sharing this article in her terrific newsletter.


  • Nathan S. Gibson

    Nathan S. Gibson is an independent worker compliance business partner who provides expertise and creative solutions to enhance workforce flexibility and maintain compliance. He helps mitigate the risks associated with the misclassification of self-employed consultants, freelancers and independent contractors.