Posts Tagged ‘How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts Minds and Funny Bones’

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

 

Participants at the 2015 ALP Convention in Vandalia

Last Saturday, I made a presentation to the Association of Lincoln Presenters Convention  entitled, “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones,” based on my book.

The presentation took place in the Old Vandalia Statehouse, Vandalia, Illinois, (Illinois state motto – Please Don’t Pronounce the “S”) in the chambers where Lincoln actually served as a state representative. I thought I could feel Lincoln’s spirit in that venerable place.

It didn’t hurt that all the Lincoln Presenters were decked out in full Lincoln contume (“with a great beard comes great responsiblity”). They were the most receptive audience I’ve ever had. I felt they all loved Lincoln as much as I did.

At the age of 28, while serving in the Illinois General Assembly, Lincoln made one of his first public declarations against slavery, in the Vandalia Statehouse. Lincoln stated,The institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy”

One historian called it “The first formal declaration against the system of slavery that was made in any legislative body in the United States, at least west of the Hudson River.”

Lincoln also received his license to practice law in the Vandalia Statehouse in March of 1837.

On Lincoln’s Trail

While in Illinois, I availed myself of the opportunity to visit the “sacred” sites where Lincoln lived and worked. I saw Lincoln’s log cabin in Lerna where I met E,D. Dowling, who worked at the site, and who also was distant relaive of Dennis Hanks, a cousin of Lincoln’s mother.

I visited Lincoln’s two-story house in Springfield, and his burial plot in Oak Ridge

Lincoln Springfileld Home

Cemetery, where Lincoln, his wife and three of his four sons are buried.

I also visited the cemetery plot of Lincoln’s stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln. Lincoln had a storng bond with her and before he left Illinois to assume the presidency, he went back to Lerna on a sentimental journey to visit her.

In an interview with William Herndon after Lincoln’s death, his stepmother said,  “His mind and mine, what little I had, seemed to run together, more in the same channel.”

My Presentation

Here are a few highlights from my presentation to the Lincolns:

Cemetery Walk Tours

One memorable convention activity was cemetery walk tour in the Old Vandalia Cemetery. It involved actors portraying the roles of the people buried in the cemetery. It really touched my heart to hear such a vivid presentation of how their lives were changed by the civil war, and the various joys and tragedies they encountered in life.

Most moving was a slave who had been given his freedom by a kindly slave owner. After Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation,the former slave joined the Union army and following the war, led a productive life as a free man in Vandalia.

Vandalia Cemetery Walk Tour

 

Abe’s favorite book! (aka John Mansfield)

Newspaper Summary of Lincoln Presenter’s Convention in Vandalia  

Upcoming Presentations/Activities:

June 5th, 2015. Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy. Tucson, AZ.

 Other Lincoln Articles:

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview (video)

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

7 Book Promotion Tips by Radio Host Bob Schmidt

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

Abraham Lincoln and the Kindergarten Class

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Last week I made two presentations.

First was a power point presentation to the distinguished residents of the Arizona Senior Academy on “How Abraham Lincoln Told Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones.” The audience was one of the most Lincoln-informed that I have had the pleasure to present to. During he question and answer period following my presentation, I was asked extremely insightful questions about Lincoln. I was having so much fun interacting with the audience, several of whom were authors themselves, that I hated to leave.

Arizona Senior Academy

My second presentation was to the Aztec Toastmasters Club on the topic of “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Overcome Trials and Tribulations.” Below is a clip from that presentation, on how Lincoln used stories to soften the blow of saying “no”.

 

Upcoming Presentations:

April 18, 2015. Forum Speaker at The Association of Lincoln Presenters 2015 Convention, Vandalia, Illinois.

The Association of Lincoln Presenters

 

Related Posts:

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview (video)

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

7 Book Promotion Tips by Radio Host Bob Schmidt

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

 Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview (video)

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

 

Alex and Tina attempt to put me In a double arm bar, unless I agree to tell one more Abe Lincoln story.
“Sorry Alex and Tina, you’ve reached your daily limit!”

Friday was my interview on the Morning Blend (KGUN 9 TV), with genial hosts Alex Steiniger and Tina Jennings, to discuss “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones.”

I had a chance to tell Lincoln’s “Pitchfork and Dog” story and one of my own stories, based on Lincoln’s storytelling techniques, “the Doctor and the Hot Mama.”

 

Here is the complete interview :

 

 _________

 

Upcoming Presentations or Interviews on “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones”

Feb. 4, 2015, 3:30 to 4:30 pm (Mtn. time). Presentation “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of Story,” to the Arizona Senior Academy. Tucson, Arizona.

 

Related Posts:

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

7 Book Promotion Tips by Radio Host Bob Schmidt

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Rich Peterson

During the congenial radio interview with (the redoubtable) Rich Peterson of KROC 1340 AM in Rochester, Minnesota, we touched on:

1) How to find good stories to tell, and;

2) What are the characteristics that comprise a good story?

My response (with some bells and whistles added after the fact) went like this:

Finding and preserving stories

 Stories can be found everywhere – books television, movies, church. Some of the best stories are the ones we hear from friends, or overhearing from other conversations throughout the course of our day. The stories are out there like apples on a tree, ready to be picked. The key is to remember them.

In my case, when I hear a story that I want to remember, I immediately write it down. If I’m in my house, I write it in a notebook or in my desk calendar. I also carry re-cycled envelopes in my pocket to jot down story ideas, when I’m outside the house. They are especially useful when I am taking the dog for a walk, or going to church. When I return home, I transfer the story to my notebook or calendar.

The next step is to “Lincolnize” the story, or transform the story so that it is no longer just “a story” but it becomes “your” story.

The Lincoln Storytelling Template

 Use this template to frame your story in the same electric style that Lincoln used to tell his stories. Follow Lincoln to reap the harvest of a typical Lincoln story and:

1.  Connect with your listener.

2.  Generate laughter.

3.  Enlighten your listener.

 Step One – Opening sentence

Segue from topic being discussed to the story:

“That reminds me of a when I  . . .” or,

“Let me illustrate that point . . .” or,

“Speaking of . . . one time I when I was  . . .  .”

 Personalize the story. Never start a story by saying “A man walked into a bar.” Instead say, “I walked into a bar,” or, “My friend, Frank, walked into a bar.” Just jump into the story without prefacing it with “Here’s a funny story” or “I heard a story the other day.”

Step Two – Tell your story with pizzazz

 Tell a story to illustrate your point:

 “When I tried to make telephone calls to the U.S. I had to wait a long time . . .  .” (From a Peace Corps story I tell).

 Become one with the story. Give each character a personality.

Step Three – Thought provoking conclusion

Wrap up with a moral or humorous twist:

“If you don’t shake every hand, you can’t talk to Aunt Fran.” (From the Peace Corps story).

Place this succinct message of the story into your final sentence.

He is a link to the Rich Peterson – Abe Lincoln Storyteller interview.

———————————————————————————————

 FREE on Kindle only December 25!

“How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones.” Download

Reviews are appreciated!

———————————————————————————————-

Upcoming Presentations or Interviews on “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones”

Dec 12, 2014, 6:15 am (Mtn. time) the indomitable Bob Schmidt, WLFN 1490 AM, Onalaska, Wisconsin. Listen in at http://www.1490wlfn.com/bs_with_bob_schmidt.html.

Dec 17, 6:10 am (Mn. time). Interview with the dynamic Dan Ramey, WBEX Radio 1490 AM, Chillicothe, Ohio. Web broadcast on http://www.wbex.com/onair/dan-mike-in-the-morning-3786/.

Jan. 2, 11:00 -noon (Mtn. time). Interview on the Morning Blend with hosts Tina Jennings and Maria Parmigiani, KGUN9-TV, Tucson, AZ.

Feb. 4, 2015, 3:30 to 4:30 pm (Mtn. time). Presentation to the Arizona Senior Academy. Tucson, Arizona.

Related Posts

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

7 Book Promotion Tips by Radio Host Bob Schmidt

Abraham Lincoln Storytelling Secret – Add Voices

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

Friday, November 28th, 2014

  Abraham Lincoln said, “Stories are the shortest path between strangers and friends.”

Lincoln’s version of a Facebook page was his one-on-one and face-to-face telling of stories to everyone he met. Stories allowed him to connect with people and win their respect in the shortest possible time. Not a bad skill for a politician to have.

Everyone who walked into Lincoln’s law office was told a story before they left. John H. Littlefield observed,

“No matter how busy Lincoln might be, whenever anyone came in he would inevitably greet him with a pleasant or funny comment, and before he left would always tell a joke or anecdote. Often he told the same story four or five times in the course of a day (to different visitors), and every time laughed as heartily as anyone.”

Toastmaster Conference Presentation Update

My seminar at the District 13 Toastmaster Conference, “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones (and how you can too),” went extremely well. I may have made my presentation with my heart on my sleeve and spaghetti sauce on my tie, but I received very positive feedback afterwards. Books sold like hot cakes.

 

 Upcoming Presentations or Interviews on “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones”

Dec. 11, 7:15 am (Mountain time). Interview with the redoubtable Rich Peterson, KROC Radio 1340 AM, Rochester, Minnesota. Web broadcast on http://krocam.com/author/richp/.

Dec 12, 2014, 6:15 am (Mttn. time) the indomitable Bob Schmidt, WLFN 1490 AM, Onalaska, Wisconsin. Listen in at http://www.1490wlfn.com/bs_with_bob_schmidt.html.

Dec 17, 6:10 am (Mtn. time). Interview with the dynamic Dan Ramey, WBEX Radio 1490 AM, Chillicothe, Ohio. Web broadcast on http://www.wbex.com/onair/dan-mike-in-the-morning-3786/.

Dec. 30, 6:08 am (Mtn. time). Interview with the genial and witty Jeff Anderson, KSDR AM, Watertown, SD.

Rich Peterson

Bob Schmidt

Dan Ramey

Jeff Anderson

Related Posts

Abraham Lincoln Storytelling Secret – Add Voices

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

In order to win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great high road to his reason.

– Abraham Lincoln

 

In a lesson that aspiring candidate for the 2016 election, such as Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush, could learn from, Abraham Lincoln captured the Republican Nomination for the Presidency in 1860 by not criticizing his opponents.

Of the four candidates running for the Republican nomination for the Presidency in 1860, Lincoln had the very least amount of experience. Compared to the other candidates, who were all political “heavy weights,” Lincoln was considered a political “light weight.”

A Stunning Upset

It’s like the scene in the movie Rocky, where a TV interview shows challenger Rocky Balboa pounding frozen cow carcasses like punching bags in preparation for the big fight. The Champion’s trainer is watching the TV and says,

“Hey, Champ, you should see this guy that you’re going to fight. It looks like he means business.”

The champ is on the phone busily lining up endorsements for the fight and absentmindedly replies,

“Yeah, I mean business too.”

But you could see in his demeanor that he didn’t really comprehend the approaching “tsunami-zilla” that Rocky represented, just as Lincoln’s opponents underestimated him.

Lincoln the Underdog

Wm Seward

On the surface, Lincoln’s rivals for the nomination had nothing to fear from him. Lincoln’s only political experience on the national level consisted of two failed senate races and a single term in Congress, which he had served twelve years earlier. Contrary to Lincoln, the other three candidates for the nomination were widely known and respected by most Americans.

William Henry Seward, the front runner for the nomination, had been a celebrated U.S. senator from New York for more than a decade and governor of his state for two terms before he went to Washington, D.C.

Salmon Chase

Ohio’s Salmon Chase, a lookalike of the monster (Peter Boyle) in Young Frankenstein, also had been both senator and governor, and had played a central role in the formation of the national Republican Party.

Edward Bates -“You lookin’ at me?”

Edward (evil eye) Bates was a widely respected elder statesman, a delegate to the convention that had framed the Missouri Compromise, and a former congressman whose opinions on national matters were still widely sought.

Yet somehow, Lincoln, a political unknown, surprised almost everyone, and through some form of political jujitsu, outmaneuvered his opponents and captured the nomination.

In retrospect, we can see an explanation of how Lincoln accomplished this astounding feat.

Lincoln’s Stories Neutralize the Opposition

Lincoln had a huge advantage in the crucial area of communication and storytelling. Lincoln had an easy-going personality and a style of not directly attacking the opinions of others. Rather, he used persuasion and stories to win them over, resulting in no delegates at the convention being strongly opposed to him. When the other candidates split the vote, the affable Lincoln was the runaway “second choice” of the nominating convention. Lincoln could have been the poster boy for Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

The Lesson

Lincoln’s proficiency in storytelling eclipsed the experience and credentials of the other candidates. He never had to resort to mud-slinging or smear campaigns. Instead, Lincoln used stories to gently show people who disagreed with his policies the logical reasoning behind his decisions.

He didn’t view his opponents as enemies. His response was to view their perspectives as being no different than his own,  if he were in their shoes. They just needed things explained in the proper terms for them to fully grasp and support Lincoln’s view.

Lincoln’s goal was never to knock down his enemies like a row of bowling pins. He aimed to convince them to fall down voluntarily. Stories were the way he reached their hearts and minds.

See Also:

Abraham Lincoln Storytelling Secret – Add Voices

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

 What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me about the Power of Stories

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

Abe Lincoln Storyteller Radio Interview with Rich Peterson

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

Upcoming Presentations

On November 15, I will be presenting a 40 minute seminar on “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones,” at the DoubleTree Inn in Tucson, Arizona for the 2014 Statewide Toastmaster (District 3) Conference.

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds & Funny Bones

 

“I am Terry Sprouse and I am a Lincoln-holic.”

But, let’s go back to where it all began.

I first became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras in 1986. Like most PCVs, I was starved for any reading material that was written in English, a thing more valuable to me than diamonds.

A Life Changing Book 

One day, I received a large package from my mother. It was book entitled “Abraham Lincoln – One volume edition” by Carl Sandburg.

I was captivated by the personality of Lincoln, as well as the elegant manner in which the book was written. As I read the book, I felt like I was experiencing a beautiful dream that I never wanted to end. I read the book through many times and highlighted passages that I wanted to remember.

I think the life of Abraham Lincoln is the most intriguing story in American history. Poor farm boy rises, like Venus from the half-shell, against all odds, to become President of the United States. And beyond the Presidency, he achieves legendary status through unparalleled displays of grace, charm, and good humor.

I planted a goal in my mind to write a book that would inspire people the way that Sandburg’s book had inspired me, and maybe even write a book about Lincoln. I read everything I could get my hands on about Lincoln.

28 Years Later- The Book is Written

Fast forward 28 years. I have been a member of Toastmasters (public speaking club) for several years, and I delivered several speeches about Abraham Lincoln. In 2012, I completed a book with my wife (Turn Your House into a Rental House Instead of Selling It!) and I was casting about for a topic for my next book.

Then, the goal that I had planted in my mind to write a book about Lincoln came back to me. I initially thought to write a book containing Lincoln’s best jokes that I could sell in conjunction with my making Lincoln speeches at various groups and organizations.

Gradually the book got longer and stronger, as I decided that some supplemental text would make it all the more interesting. I added chapters on the techniques that Lincoln used to tell his stories –mimicry, self-deprecating humor, and adding a moral to the end. Then another chapter on childhood influences that molded young Abe into a storyteller. Another on how he “Lincolnized” old stories to make them his own.

Throwing modesty to the wind, I also included a chapter on how I use Lincoln-like stories to teach my young boys valuable lessons and in radio interviews to promote my books.

I presented many of my ideas in speeches to my Toastmaster Club. In the process of writing the speeches and receiving feedback from club members, the text improved, and ultimately wound up as content in my final book.

With the publication of my Lincoln book, the 28 year wait is over and my mind is at ease.

Yes, I am a Lincoln-holic, and gratified to be in such good company.

 

See also:

Abraham Lincoln Storytelling Secret – Add Voices

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me About the Power of Stories

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President)

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes

What Mr. Lincoln Taught Me about the Power of Stories

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

While defending a man against an assault charge, Lincoln claimed it was more like self-defense, as in the case of a man he knew who was walking down the road with a pitchfork and was attacked by a very fierce dog. In trying to ward off the dog’s attacks he stuck the prongs of the pitchfork into the animal and killed him. According to Lincoln, the dialogue that followed went like this:

“What made you kill my dog?” said the farmer.

“What made your dog try to bite me?” the man answered.

“But why didn’t you go after him with the other end of your pitchfork?”

“Why didn’t he come after me with his other end?”

The jury found Lincoln’s client innocent of assault

Lincoln’s Secretary of Treasury said, “Many of Mr. Lincoln’s stories were as apt and instructive as the best of Aesop’s Fables.”

3 Reasons to Use Stories

Lincoln used stories for many different reasons, but here are three reasons that stand out to me.

1.) Stories are tools of persuasion use to avoid provoking people.

Lincoln said, “They say I tell a great many stores and I reckon I do, but I believe that common people, are more easily informed through the medium of a broad illustration than in any other way.”

Studies show that people are more receptive to information presented as a story than if it is merely presented as a dry, unadorned, fact.

2.) Stories are an entertaining and compelling way to connect with people. Lincoln commented, “Stories are the shortest path between strangers and friends.”

Carl Schurz

Carl Schurz, a union general who first met Lincoln on a train described the meeting by saying,

“I soon felt as if I had known him all my life and we had very long been close friends. He interspersed our conversation with all sorts of quaint stories, each of which had a witty point applicable to the subject at hand.”

3.) Stories have the power to bring about change. Our stories we chose communicate a deeper meaning, our values, hopes and ideals in a way that most people can relate. They show us the difference between what is and what could be.

Plato said, “Those who tell stories rule the world.”

“I am not simply a story-teller,” said Lincoln, “It is not the story itself, but its purpose that interests me.” He didn’t force his messages on his audience, he let in unfold in their own imaginations.

Where to Get Stories

Like me, you may not be a natural born storyteller, and you might not have a treasure trove of fascinating stories to draw upon. But Lincoln said that he almost never invented stories. He told stories and jokes he remembered hearing or reading and he adapted them to fit the issue at hand.

Draw upon stories that you have personally experienced, or utilize stories that you have heard or read. Modify these stories to slip in your message instead of hitting people over the head with it.

Opportunities to Tell Stories Present Themselves

Stories proved their value to me when I spent time with my Mother during the last year of her life. She was constantly in and out of hospital and rehabilitation facilities. We were together so much that often the only thing I could think to say was to recall family stories from the past. I realized that the best way to communicate feelings and deep thoughts was through these stories.

Stories are also a useful teaching tool with my two teenage sons. I can no longer use the direct technique with them, and just say “stop doing that or you can’t watch TV!” That approach is a dead end. It would just result in an argument and hard feelings.

If I really want to mold their behavior, I talk to them when they are relaxed, like in the car, and I tell them an interesting story (at least to me) from my past experience that reflects some point that I want to make. Sometimes I wonder if my boys are really paying attention to my “rambling reminisces.” But, when they later ask me for more details about a story that I have told, I realize that maybe my story has struck a chord with them.

Stories Are More Persuasive Than Logic

At a meeting of newspaper editors, where he felt out of place, Lincoln used this story:

“I feel like I did once when I met a woman riding horseback in the woods, As I stopped to let her pass, she also stopped and looking at me intently.

She said, ‘I do believe you are the ugliest man I ever saw.’

Said I: ‘Madam, you are probably right, but I can’t help it.’

‘No, she said, ‘you can’t help it, but you might stay at home.’ ”

And magically, after hearing the story, the reporters who were strangers became Lincoln’s  friends.

Learn from Lincoln. Stop being so logical, fact filled and practical in your communications. Dig deeper, make people laugh, cry and think by wrapping it in a compelling story. Connect to people’s hearts by the stories you tell.

Recommended readings:

Abraham Lincoln and Leadership through Storytelling

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps: My presentation to the ALP Convention (video)

Follow Abe Lincoln’s Storytelling Example

Lincoln Storytelling at AZ Senior Academy and Aztec Toastmasters (Video)

Feb. 4: “Abraham Lincoln and the Power of a Story” at AZ Senior Academy

Lincoln and Storytelling – Morning Blend Interview

Abraham Lincoln Storytelling Secret – Add Voices

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Connect with People by T. Sprouse

Abraham Lincoln and Storytelling – The Story Behind the Book by T. Sprouse

How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Win the Presidential Nomination (a lesson for the 2016 Candidates for President) by T. Sprouse

Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair by T. Sprouse

How To Have The Language Intelligence Of Abraham Lincoln: ‘The Greatest Thing By far Is To Be A Master Of Metaphor’ by Joe Romm at ClimateProgress

Mr. Sandburg, speak to us! by Bill Nash at Abe’s Log Cabin.

How Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of storytelling by John Sadowsky

Lesson From Abraham Lincoln On Becoming A Great Storyteller by Jay Oza

The Power of Overlooking an Offense at Kingdom People

John Y. Brown, III: Lincoln and the Power of Story at The Recovering Politician

Is a state pension enough to support you in retirement? at Reach Financial Independence

Does Volunteering And Charitable Giving Lead To Happier Employees And Higher Profits? at Untemplater

The grocery game challenge June 24-30, 2013 #4: Fruit and vegetable preparation at Canadian Budget Binder

Do You Sneak Snacks Into The Movies? at Eyes on the Dollar

 Review of “The Hour of Peril” – 5 Abe Lincoln Anecdotes