November 13, 2020

Are stories just as effective in a written format?


A common question during my storytelling workshops is:

“Are stories just as effective in a written format?”

My answer is yes and last week I witnessed just how effective they can be during a virtual workshop.

Technical Issues and Virtual Training

With current COVID-19 travel and work restrictions, all of my training has been virtual. Yesterday one of the participants didn’t have access to a microphone so they could not contribute by speaking. Consequently, they had to rely on using the chat function.

When it was time to practise sharing a story in smaller breakout groups, I suggested that she simply listen as I saw no other way for her to contribute. But to my delight, this participant shared her story by simply typing it in the chat function for her group to read.

Written Stories can be Powerful

While everyone was debriefing on sharing their stories, that particular group commented on how powerful her story was even though it was short and written. This is the first time I’ve had this situation happen over the last eight months of running virtual training, but it reinforced that your stories can be just as powerful when they are written.

So regardless of whether it is a newsletter, annual general report, email or even in the chat function, don’t dismiss sharing your stories in the written format.