The power of the story remains a timeless weapon

By Jim Stiliadis

Standing atop one of the world’s great monuments, it was hard to know if I was struck more by its ancient splendour or the sheer brutality to which it played host. Yet, for all its magnificence, it was just another structure. Mysterious and imposing and a glistening triumph of Roman imperial power, but another structure nonetheless.

It wasn’t until I learned the stories of the Flavian Amphitheater – or the Colosseum – that it came to life and assumed meaning. Stories like how the Emperor of the day conceived it as a pleasure palace for the masses to shore up his shaky hold on power, or how man-powered machinery made an exotic 300-207 array of wild animals and scenery appear from beneath a wooden floor as if by magic, or that the ‘vomatorium’ was in fact the vast network of passages below and between some 50,000 seats – not spectators’ reaction to the bloody scenes in the ring! Indeed, modern-day vomitoria as they are still known feature in some of the world’s famous theatres.

That’s the power of the story. Done well, they evoke sounds, and smells, and pictures, and feelings. They transpose you to a moment you can’t otherwise experience. Each of us is our own living monument. Not necessarily ancient and decaying of course, but rich with our own unique experiences and anecdotes that can and do affect those around us.

Harnessing and telling those stories in a way that resonates is the most powerful tool in our armour. It’s the emotional glue that connects us as people. When we seek to enable an outcome or influence behaviour, it’s the story as it relates to others that sits at the core of it all.

Yet, crafting and conveying a compelling narrative is a challenging concept to master. Too often in our day-to-day work we see a disproportionate focus on the channel. The website needs an overhaul. We need to be on social media. Why aren’t we front-page news? If content is king, it all begins and ends with the story. But, how do we get to the essence of the issue, and how do we make it mean something to others – especially when they don’t know what they don’t know?

Forbes magazine says true leaders are characterised by their ability to connect with the people around them, by communicating in a way that speaks to their emotions and aspirations. With the rapid shift to digital media fuelling the thirst for more and varied content, the power of the story has never been more critical.

For many, though, learning to deliver with impact TE0-141 remains an elusive art. The channel is but the stage. Perhaps the ancient Romans knew something.