The need for story runs deep in our species.

Cultures define themselves through stories called myths. Religions embody their values and beliefs in stories. Nations rely on stories – the Trojan War, the six wives of Henry the Eighth, the Great Depression – to conceptualize, understand, and pass down their histories from generation to generation. Parents tell stories to teach their children. Stories are what we use to try to make sense of the world and ourselves.

As the philosopher Kenneth Burke said, “Stories are equipment for living.” 

Stories are also highly effective equipment for professional communicators. Stories help us compare notes about being human.  In contrast to the proofs of logic or appeals to reason, stories speak to the heart and to the imagination. Stories go to our core. Stories drive home the point. Stories persuade. 

You can claim that your product or service is superior, but you can demonstrate its superiority through storytelling.

You can spell out your company's principles or cultural values, but you can illustrate and validate them through storytelling.

You can describe what differentiates your brand, but you can make your brand both unmistakable and unforgettable with stories.

You can suggest that people act or change, but with a well-told story, you can jolt them into action.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Some portions of Richard Butterfield's Corporate Storytelling were previously published on his website,, or in his book, Richard Butterfield's Power of Persuasion: Communication and Presentation Skills for Every Profession.