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Storytelling Leads to College Admission and Business Success

by Story2 Guest Author, on Aug 4, 2013 12:12:00 PM

Shane Snow, the Chief Creative Officer of Contently, just wrote an article on LinkedIn that explained why storytelling is the most important business skill of the next five years. For the complete text of the article, click here

In case you don't have time to read the entire article, here are my five favorite quotes:

1. "Stories have been an essential driver of change throughout human history."

2. "Good stories surprise us. They have compelling characters. They make us think, make us feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that numbers and text on a slide with a bar graph don't.

3. "We share billions of links every month, to tens of millions of pieces of content. As the deluge of content in our lives, and the means of accessing it, grows (Ahoy, Google Glass!), what stands out has to be increasingly compelling. Those who can create, find, and share the good stories will build followings, to their outsize advantage."

4. "All things being equal, people with powerful personal brands have a leg up on getting jobs and being promoted to leadership within them. And personal brand are built on, among other things, telling and sharing great stories."

5. "There's a Native American proverb on my office wall that says, "Those who tell the stories rule the world." As technology increasingly intertwines us, I believe that's increasingly true. It's our job as businesses and workers and leaders to make sure the good guys are the ones telling the best stories. And like any skill, we're going to need practice at it."

Obviously, I agree wholeheartedly with Shane Snow on the awesome power of storytelling. Snow's article boils down to three key points about storytelling. 1) As information becomes more available, you need a way to stand out from the crowd in order to get what you want in life. 2) The most important way to stand out is by telling a great personal story. 3) The only way to get good at telling stories is to practice it. 

Story2 was founded on the premise that teaching people how to craft great personal stories would lead to better outcomes in college admissions, the job search, and life. We've taught over 8,000 high school students the Moments Method(TM) - a strategy that gives you a step-by-step process for telling great stories and writing great personal essays.

Reading Snow's article, it's no surprise that the same skills that help businesses sell their products to consumers help high school students stand out in a pool of 20,000 applicants to their dream college. The sad fact is that as schools place more emphasis on standardized testing, they have less time to teach students how to tell a compelling story or craft a powerful personal essay. But fear not, we designed our company to fill this exact gap.

Zach taught 11th Grade U.S. History in Holly Springs, Mississippi through Teach For America. Before TFA, Zach graduated from Princeton University where he received a degree in History, and served as sports editor of the Daily Princetonian and captain of the junior varsity tennis team. Zach spent two summers in college working with Worldwide Orphans Foundation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he co-directed a day camp for over 200 children living with HIV.