[photo by JoeyChong, flickr artist](http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeychong/)
photo by JoeyChong, flickr artist

one of the most important communication tools is storytelling. we tell stories to entertain. we tell stories to enlighten. stories help us in so many ways.

here are just a few ways that you should use stories to help achieve your goals…

tell stories in your presentations!

when you have presentations, nothing drives home your point(s) better than stories. always build up to something. lay the foundations for the information you’re talking about. show the progression and how one idea builds upon the other, then — in the end — bring it all together. “here we take a look at the individual units. next, we’re able to compare the information for those units for a single point in time. now that we have information for one point in time, we can combine those points to create a trend and forecast out the future.” create a commentary and find a voice track that supplements and enhances your story. and above all else, use metaphors! there’s no better way to introduce a concept that’s foreign and may make no sense to someone than through relating that information to a concept they do know.

more after the jump!

tell stories in your résumé!

if you’re looking for a new job — either with a different organization or within your own organization — you need to make sure that your résumé isn’t just a collection of random facts about your work history. “cleared paper jam from color copier.” oh really?! no way! look — everyone lists their education, their skills, their hobbies, activities, and memberships outside of their school and office, but what does that have to do with the job you’re applying for? always make sure that you incorporate the skills you have, and education you received, with the work that you’ve done. tell a story; paint a picture. “using adobe creative suite, designed posters for local independent theatre productions” is much more valuable to have in your CV than “designed and created posters for local independent theatre.”

tell stories in your blog!

do you have a facebook account? do you have a wordpress blog? use them effectively. connecting with people is the #1 most important thing to do in any business or personal endeavor. it helps people interact with you… even if they don’t like you (which may end up being the best thing that could happen for you). tell your personal story through your facebook and your twitter and your blog. you may make new friends. you may find a new business partner. but these things can only happen if you let people know who you are.

tell stories every day!

use stories to drive home important points. use stories to build close relationships. user stories to your advantage.they’re not just for bedtime anymore.