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How to use storytelling strategies to get your emails answered

Fast Company: Our brains love stories. When you use storytelling to share information and ideas, they often stand out and are more memorable to the listener. Stories also engage visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners because they often include graphics, the spoken word, and experiences or feelings. You may think storytelling would come in handy if you’re preparing for a presentation, but Lee Lazarus and Janine Kurnoff, founders of The Presentation Company and co-authors of the book Everyday Business Storytelling, say it can also help your email get answered. “Storytelling sounds fluffy,” says Lazarus….But this is not about telling personal stories. Instead, we can all use story structure to organize our thoughts to better present them to our coworkers and bosses.”This is especially true with email, where the challenge is to cut through the noise and stand out in someone’s inbox.”You often have one shot to connect and influence someone,” says Kurnoff. “You don’t want to miss that opportunity.” Lazarus and Kurnoff say every great story includes four signposts:

  1. Setting: This includes data, trends and insights that provide context.
  2. Characters: These are the participants that are part of your message, including the recipient and sender (you), as well as any other stakeholders
  3. Conflict: This is the problem you’re hoping to solve and the reason for your email
  4. Resolution: And this is how you ask for the conflict to be solved..”

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