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Town hall meetings are supposed to be a dynamic, interactive and engaging form of communication. However, too many come off as “data dumps” with senior leaders sharing slide after slide of facts, figures and statistics that employees will forget in five minutes.

Instead, of a flat, slide-based meeting, encourage your leaders to use storytelling to make content more lively and memorable. Here are some ideas for using storytelling to liven up your next town hall meeting:

  • “Our new vision is . . .”
    Stories can be used effectively to communicate a new vision, mission or values. Have the CEO talk in real terms about what the vision, etc., means to her. Have her share some of the anecdotes from the long, behind-the-scenes process that went into determining what the new values or mission would be. Hearing such frank talk from the CEO is bound to pull employees in.
  • “How we increased our . . .”
    Instead of just saying, “Customer satisfaction is up 37%,” or “Sales have increased 7%,” also share a story from a happy customer and/or ask one of your top sales reps to talk about how she’s connected with more customers this year. Employees appreciate hearing from people on the front lines.
  • “Why I believe . . .”
    When your company is going through a difficult time, stories can help motivate employees and keep them focused. Have a senior leader talk about previous tough times he’s been through (either at your company or when he was with another), or have him relay a story that has motivated him in difficult circumstances in the past.
  • “Here’s why this is important . . .”
    Employees are hit with new initiatives on a regular basis. But hearing the CEO tell a story about why a new initiative is critical to the company will mean more to employees than reading about it in a newsletter or other vehicle.
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