Why learn to tell a decent story?

My biggest frustration at some point was not being able to eloquently talk to other people.

So I made a pact with a friend, Thembinkosi. “When I get to our second year at college, I’ll be able to confidently hold a conversation with anyone. Even the fellows who matriculated from Crawford College and you won’t be able to tell the difference who is from the township!”

I worked hard to polish my skills. Today, there isn’t a place I can’t access with the way I talk. Eloquence is my middle name.

If you’ve ever noticed, we remember (and want to be around) the folks who tell great stories. That’s because stories are emotional, real and interesting and they’re awesome vehicles for the lessons and knowledge we want to impart.

You are more likely to vividly remember a pulsating anecdote laced with lessons on how to build a personal brand than you are to recall that information through five bulleted points.

Anecdotes were how culture was passed down to future generations by elders; family time around a fire was the most exciting time of the day.

Make yourself interesting and memorable by telling stories to make your point.

I’d like to paint you an image of why lacking a decent writing ability, for instance, is a bad idea. Consider this: how would you react to reading a potential employee’s Facebook profile and find that all of their status updates — for all four years they’ve been on the platform — are littered with grammatical and spelling errors?

Does the thought make you cringe? Would you even give them a chance? Or more simply, what opinion would you even have of them?

Of course, the brilliance of these questions is: if the roles were reversed (please step outside of yourself momentarily), would you give yourself the time of day?

Now, here’s my parting tip: if you use instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp to communicate, give yourself the task of improving your grammar and spelling of every single word you type to anyone with whom you chat correctly! Odds are, the application accounts for 60% of your conversations a day.

Would you not agree that it is the perfect space to quickly learn to communicate better?

(You can also use their Voice Note feature to record your responses everyday and take aim at polishing your speaking ability.)