Using Storytelling to Influence Stakeholders

From my work with visionary leaders, I know that one of the biggest challenges they have is bringing their stakeholders along. There are two groups, in particular, the board of directors and the executive team that have the power to stop an initiative. It’s critical that you learn how to earn their engagement, support, and buy-in.

One tool that is very effective when trying to influence stakeholders is story, which has two sides, storytelling and story-listening. In the video above, I talk about:

  • Why strong logical arguments, no matter how well-founded are counterintuitive to influence and how to combat that with story-listening.
  • How associations like the International Sign Association used award-winning storytelling to spark change.
  • How to package your stories and ideas into a small, tight narrative that other people can remember easily and tell.

Of my story work with the International Sign Association, Lori Anderson, CEO, said this:

“We brought in Seth Kahan, who led us through the many facets of storytelling step-by-step. He guided not only the staff but a key volunteer leadership retreat invaluable exercises that helped shape our storytelling initiative.”


Check out my book, Visionary Leadership, to learn more about the two ways that you can influence people when you have a visionary idea.

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