by Cassie Bullock, member Arlington Nooners

The D25 Speakers Bureau recently had the honor of participating in a Story Telling Workshop with Dr. Kraeplin. Thank you, Calvin Dorsey, who leads the Speakers Bureau, for making the experience possible. We learned the power and impact of stories — from stories.

Dr. Kraeplin kicked off the workshop by quoting Peter Guber, author, and president of Mandalay Entertainment, “…as the noise level of modern life has become a cacophony, the ability to tell a purposeful story…is increasingly in demand.” HIs words serve as a reminder that stories are what connect us, not statistics, data, or PowerPoints. Our brains are more active and engaged when we hear stories. Carmine Gallo once said, “A wordy PowerPoint with bullet points activates the language-processing center of the brain, where we turn words into meaning. Stories do much more, using the whole brain and activating language, sensory, visual, and motor areas.

According to Dr. Kraeplin, there are four types of stories. Bragger stories say, “Let me tell you about what I did.” Joker stories say, “Let me tell you a funny story.” Reporter stories are “Just the facts, ma’am.”  Lastly,  and most effective, the Inspirer stories tell us “You know how life can be scary at times, here is my family story of overcoming the challenge.” Voted one of the most persuasive talks on TED.com was one such inspiring TED Talk by Attorney Bryan Stevenson. To hear more, go to https://www.ted.com/talks/bryan_steveson.

Aristotle, an early communication theorist, breaks down the elements of story into three parts: ethos, logos, and pathos.  Ethos is a connection based on credibility.  Logos is persuasive through logic and data.  Pathos connects by appealing to emotions. The power and connection in his — or our — stories is emotion. Gallo analyzed Stevenson’s speech using the three parts and found 65 percent of his speech was pathos/story. If you were to analyze one of your speeches, what percentage is ethos, logos, and pathos?

In summary, it is stories that move people to action, stories with emotion and stories we can all relate to from our everyday experiences.

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