Some people are naturally quiet. They don’t see much need to talk about themselves or share what they have accomplished with others. They are always in danger of getting overshadowed by extrovert types who are hell-bent to tell everyone how great they are. Between the two extremes, there is a middle ground that consists of saying enough to be noticed but not too much to become annoying. We live in a competitive world today and it is important to be able to tell others about what you have accomplished and what you are good at or you will be overlooked and forgotten.
This exercise is particularly useful for those quiet types who may need a push and a structured approach in practicing this skill. Learning this important skill will allow them to become better at talking about themselves and their ideas, values and achievements without appearing over bearing or self-centred.
You can run this exercise for an existing team or for a group of individuals from different backgrounds. Even those who are not naturally quiet would benefit from the structured approach used in this exercise to practice their story telling techniques.
Tell stories about your skills and your accomplishments.
What You Need
- A number of mission cards as provided below. You will need one for each delegate. Print enough copies so each person can take at least two.
- Before going through this exercise you may consider briefing delegates on good story telling skills.
- Place the mission cards face down as a random set in a deck so delegates can pick as needed.
- Ask delegates to take one card each.
- Ask a volunteer to start the exercise by telling a story about what he has got in his mission card. If the person is really struggling with the subject in the mission card, allow him to exchange it with another card from the deck.
- Allow each person 4 minutes to tell their stories.
- Emphasise that you are looking for a good story as well as an ideal manner to tell it.
- At the end of each story, ask others to provide feedback.
- Continue until everyone has presented one story.
- Now ask them to return their cards to the deck and shuffle it.
- Ask delegates to pick another card from the deck. They should all have a different card and may consider swapping if they got the same card again.
- Resume the exercise for another round and ask the delegates to tell their stories. This time, they should consider the feedback they received in the last round as they go through their storytelling.
- As before get the group to provide feedback at the end of the 5 minutes for each story. Ask the group to indicate if the story was better than the first one told by that person. They should also state if the storytelling was better and if not, what could be done to improve it.
- After everyone has presented for the second time, finish with a general discussion.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes
Activity: (4 min * N) round 1 story + (2 min * N) round 1 feedback + (4 min * N) round 2 story + (2 min * N) round 2 feedback = 96 minutes
Group Feedback: 10 minutes
Whose stories were the best and why? Who was the best story teller and why? What can you learn from others when it comes to storytelling? What was the most important lesson you learned in this exercise?
After the first round, you can get the delegates to add to the collection of mission cards with their own suggestions. They can then use these mission cards during the second round.
Tell a story about your success in managing a group of people.
Tell a story about a time when you managed to finish a project on a very tight deadline despite all the challenges.
Tell a story about the time when you finally decided what you wanted to do in life or what you are involved in now.
Tell a story about a time when you solved a complicated business problem that others had failed to solve before you.
Tell a story about a time when you managed to train someone who then went on to become very successful.
Tell a story about a time when you first felt confident about yourself and what you wanted in life.