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November 24, 2021

Scotts Valley Storytellers Speak

Who doesn’t like a good story? 

The brief history of storytelling takes us from primitive dance to digital narration. Human storytelling has been passed down from generation to generation before the written word. These earlier stories were more about human survival skills. However, today’s advertising has crafted the art of storytelling to help influence us by imprinting in our minds, encouraging and engaging us to remember their brands and purchase their goods or services. They do this through storytelling.

Think about Pixar movies, like “Toy Story,” “Up” and “Inside Out.” These few stories all follow the successful elements of storytelling. They make us cry, laugh and masterfully make us feel something. These are formulas.

Not all stories are about manipulation or survival. The best ones are memorable, impactful and personal and offer the listener a vital message or meaning. Research tells us, we retain about 5% of what we heard about 10 minutes after a speech or presentation. Did you know that a customer will tell 7-8 people about their unique positive customer experience versus 10-15 people about their negative experience in your business? 

Telling Stories

Today, in business, storytelling is an essential business skill. Whether you are a business owner, in management, or a customer, we all want to communicate value, purpose and meaning to what we do and why through our communication skills; they should listen.

The Toastmasters International group, 831 Storytellers in Scotts Valley, and thousands of other such Toastmaster International members around the globe strive, in their mission: “We empower individuals to become effective communicators and leaders.”

Like all good storytelling, they reflect the core values all businesses hope to impart to their customers: integrity, respect, service, excellence.

If you are in any business and must communicate with your employees and other groups, give public speeches or online presentations and PowerPoints then delivering your message to the right audience is vital.

The Club Mission

The mission of every Toastmaster group is to provide “a supportive and positive learning experience in which members become empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.”  

I joined Toastmasters International about six years ago. I soon learned the value of how my public speaking and my communication skills had improved. I concisely organized my presentations and used fewer filler words like ‘ahs and ums,’ although I am still working on my ‘Sos.’

Join us

We meet monthly, on the first and third Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm. Our next meeting is on Sept. 7. For information, visit 831storytellers.org or Toastmasters International: toastmasters.org. Currently, we meet on the zoom conference platform. If you have any questions email [email protected] or call 831-335-0553.

Janet Janssen is a coach, public speaker, and trainer. I provide goal achievement strategies and tactics and work with individuals with their public speaking and presentation skills. Working with Cabrillo College Supervisory and Leadership Academy’s, with Jennifer Mount. Contact her at [email protected]


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