Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0143 | March 9, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...

Dear friends,

Who doesn't appreciate a good story? I sometimes forget how powerful the sharing of my own experiences can be in illustrating a point or building trust and openness in my groups
. This week's article, "Stories That Persuade and Motivate," by Karen Selsor reinforces the importance of using story in your work with groups and outlines the key elements necessary for stories to have a real impact.

Also, I'm excited to invite you to our next one-hour tele-seminar with Marg Wall, M.Ed., Adult Educator and Learning Specialist in...How to Design Winning Workshops and Seminars that Inspire and Engage Your Audience, next Wednesday, March 24th at 4:00 PM EST. Please see details below.

If any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation, group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might interest our readers, please email them to us.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis

Facilitator News

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Next Appreciative Inquiry Teleclass starts March 17th. Please see details at the end of this issue. Also, click here to view our schedule of teleclasses or click here to view our other resources offered at Facilitator Profiles ebook is in progress. If you're interested in being featured in this book, please send us a blank email to receive details.

Presenting Skill
Stories That Persuade and Motivate
The Point

Staff developers often use Power Point slides laden with statistics, facts and quotes from experts to build a persuasive case on a given topic. A better way to persuade learners and motivate them to change their behaviour, however, is to sit back and tell a good story (McKee, 2003). A well-told story is much more memorable than statements and facts; it engages people's emotions at the deepest level and helps them make sense of their experiences in a way that "sticks." The key to storytelling is to bypass the intellectual process-which does not inspire people and often backfires because your learners are mentally arguing with your facts or deciphering your statistics-in favour of uniting an idea with an emotion in the form of a story.

Stories Inspire

Screenwriting lecturer Robert McKee tells the story of a CEO of a biotech company who has discovered a compound to prevent heart attacks. Instead of making a pitch to investors in the traditional way, with statistics, projections, business plans and unrealistically rosy hypothetical scenarios, the CEO could captivate his audience with a story that tells about his father who died of a heart attack, and his ensuing fight against various forces, such as nature, the FDA and rival companies, to develop and market an effective test that might have prevented his father's death.

Not only does a story like this engage an audience's emotions, if it is told right the storyteller himself will appear as an exciting, dynamic person who knows how to handle change and adversity. As McKee points out, "If you look your audience in the eye, lay out your really scary challenges, and say, 'We'll be lucky as hell if we get through this, but here's what I think we should do,' they will listen to you" (p. 54). Annette Simmons echoes the impact of storytelling in her book, The Story Factor: Secrets of Influence from the Art of Storytelling (2002). She notes that every company has a
story to tell, which can influence its customers, partners, investors and employees.

Stories Persuade

The use of persuasive storytelling by online hate groups is especially prevalent (Lee & Leets, 2002). A review of the literature on the subject (Friedlander, 1992; Slater, 1990; Slater & Router, 1996; Graesser, 1981) suggests that storytelling has the ability to make an argument without
causing mental resistance and that stories cause readers to suspend disbelief, which in turn prompts less scrutiny. Other studies have shown that story components serve as memory cues, in comparison to statistics that require more mental processing (Nisbett et al., 1983).

The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) explains why persuasive storytelling is effective (Lee & Leets, 2002). This model is based on the assumption that attitude change depends on the level of mental effort (Petty & Cacioppo, 1981; Petty & Priester, 1994). The researchers presented passages from hate sites to 99 students. The passages were manipulated to include a high or low degree of narrative elements (character motivations, plots and settings) and varied by whether their messages were implicitly or explicitly stated. Participants were surveyed to determine how persuasive the passages were, how well received they found the messages and the degree of resistance to the message that they felt. The study showed a clear pattern among the adolescent participants: high-narrative, implicit messages were initially reported to be more persuasive. Over time, however, low-narrative, explicit
messages were most consistently persuasive.


What makes up a good story?

Robert McKee outlines what he considers the components and stages of a good story:

- A story must include change and a "call to adventure." It begins with a status quo (a balanced life), which is upset by an "inciting incident." The inciting incident throws the status quo into chaos. A realistic inciting incident might be a threat by a major customer to cancel its contract or the death of a revered CEO in a car accident. After the incident, a hero accepts the call to adventure and makes things right again.

- A story must include conflict. The hero attempts to restore balance but keeps coming up against barriers. A story in which the outcome easily meets expectations is not a credible story. For a story to be memorable, the hero must wrestle with antagonistic forces. . Every step of the way, the hero's
situation must worsen and his or her subjective expectations move farther and farther from cruel reality. Empirical studies have shown that vividness makes persuasive messages more memorable and compelling (Baesler & Burgoon, 1994; Nisbett & Ross, 1980). A good story contains vivid detail about what it's like to deal with the aforementioned conflicts.

- The hero must ultimately succeed in his or her personal quest against external forces (but only after considerable struggle).


Experiment with the "Hold it" intervention approach this week in your meetings, trainings, and groups. Let us know how it worked for you. Please
email us your comments and thoughts on this topic.
Facilitation Expert Series

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar:
"10 Questions Every Facilitator Should Answer Before Designing Their Next Workshop." Featuring Marg Wall, M.Ed.

Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Marg Wall and Steve Davis and learn...How to Design Winning Workshops and Seminars that Inspire and Engage Your Audience. Wednesday, March 24th at 4:00 PM EST (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss are...

How to come up with content for your workshops and to decide how much to include.
How to balance content with process in the design of your workshops.
How to manage the timing of content delivery so that you don't have too much or too little.
The specific preparation you must do with your client as part of the workshop design process.
How to select the most appropriate teaching methods for the content you plan to deliver.
How to manage the emotional layer in the design of a workshop.
Ways trainers can improve their workshops so that the participants are more engaged.
The difference between performance outcomes and learning objectives.
Advice on pacing and order of activities and how they integrate with the session flow.
Tips on designing workshops with multiple facilitators.
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass.


- Instructional Design Checklist.

- Workshop Design Proficiencies Self-Assessment.

- Article, "Secrets from the Pros: 5 Master Presenters Share Their Top Techniques."
What do these people know about presenting that you don't? Not much -- yet each has developed a personal cache of secret strategies and techniques that have helped them become the successful presenters they are today. How did they develop these techniques and what can you learn from them?

Click here for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.


The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling,
by Annette Simmons

The next business revolution--using the power of stories as the ultimate source of influence and impact. What's your story? Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you want? When you seek to influence others, you face these questions and more. Whether you're proposing a risky new venture, trying to close a deal, or leading a charge against injustice, you have a story to tell. Tell it well and you will create a shared experience with your listeners that can have profound results.

In this highly accessible and groundbreaking book, Annette Simmons reminds us that the oldest tool of influence is also the most powerful. Showcasing over a hundred examples of effective storytelling drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables form around the world, Simmons illustrates how story can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can't. A great read, The Story Factor will guide and inspire you to become a more effective communicator.

In the Spotlight
Appreciative Inquiry
A Provocative Proposal for Unleashing the Power of What Works...

Join us for this 4-week TeleClass with AI experts, Patricia Clason and Bert Stitt starting March 17th, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST


This four session series on Appreciative Inquiry, is a facilitation strategy for intentional change that identifies the best of "what is" in order to pursue dreams and possibilities of "what could be." Within these classes we will explore the four dynamics of AI: Discovery, Dream, Design and Delivery. Plan to bring with you the challenges you have encountered or are experiencing in the group/organizational change process. These one-hour sessions will be interactive and we will encourage discussion of specific situations in which Appreciate Inquiry might be applied.

The Eight Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry,

Explore the nature of assumptions in an organization/group. We will define and discuss the base assumptions of AI, how they affect the change process and how we may have experienced them already in our facilitation practice.

The Six Core Principles of Appreciative Inquiry,

Understanding the DNA of Appreciative Inquiry gives us a foundation upon which we can build the infrastructure of a change process that works.

The Five Steps to Appreciative Inquiry,

From designing an appreciative question to creating a provocative proposal and manifesting a destiny, each step is crucial to the process of Appreciative Inquiry. We get to incorporate the "buzzwords" of the last decade, Innovation, Empowerment, Continuous Leaning, Partnership, and Making A Difference, into a process of change that is FUN! Imagine the possibilities!

Outcomes and Opportunities (one month after the first three classes),

This session will be a celebration of learning about what worked and what didn't work for class participants as they applied the concepts of AI in their practice with clients and organizations, as well as discussion on further opportunities for implementing and integrating Appreciative Inquiry.

Also included with your training...
In addition to the 4-Week training described above, you also receive:

1. Free access to the RealAudio version of this training.
2. A Bibliography of leading works on AI.
3. A number of web resources to support your work in this field.
4. Summary notes of each class session.
5. List of class participants.

Benefits to you of participating 4-Week Training...
1. Get a great introduction to the concept and practice of Appreciative Inquiry to add to your toolbox as a facilitator, team leader, coach, or leader.
2. Learn to employ a change process that works.
3. Learn how to come from a positive, "what works" perspective when working with individuals and groups.

Click here to register now!

Leader Bios

Bert Stitt operates a home-based consultancy from Madison, Wisconsin. He provides facilitation services, public engagement consultation, and organizational development for community-building projects, coaching for non-governmental organizations, mediation and facilitation for governmental agencies, and strategic planning processes for associations, foundations, and small businesses. Appreciative Inquiry is a relatively recent tool that Bert is finding very useful as he reaches into the toolbox while helping to build the organizations he works with.

Patricia Clason has traveled across the continent doing speeches, workshops and media appearances as a professional speaker, trainer, consultant and writer, giving over 3,000 presentations for corporations, associations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Now the Director of the Center for Creative Learning which offers programs for personal and professional development and has written many articles, training programs and personal growth seminars and is a sought-after guest for radio and television. Patricia likes to focus on alternative methods of teaching and learning, addressing the psychological perspectives and principles behind the practical tools that she teaches. As a result, audiences are often entranced with her and excited about using these new ideas.

Course Fee and Registration.
The full cost of training is only $64.95 for MFJ readers ($79.95 for the general public). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee. The class will meet for one hour on the following four Wednesdays at 2:00 PM EST (NY Time), March 17th, March 24th, March 31st, and April 7th.

Please click here and you'll be taken to the teleclass registration page. Register there and you'll see your discount computed and applied as you check out. Immediately upon completion of your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access the course
. This course is limited to 20 individuals, first come, first served.

Click here to register for this "live" teleclass now!

Self-Guided Real Audio Version. If you'd like to learn this material at your own pace and on your own schedule, you can purchase the real audio version of this teleclass complete with all the resources outlined above. You'll be provided with access to the recorded offerings of the four-hour teleclass that you can listen to online and follow along in the notes used in the live class.

Click here to purchase Real Audio Version for $59

About the satisfaction guarantee
If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this course, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case. (Why? Because we are sensitive to the fact that you are buying an e-course/product from us and we feel that if this package isn't EXACTLY what you expected or wanted, that you should be able to get 100% of your money back. This policy completely removes the buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.)

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