Storytelling is a powerful communication method that makes your presentations and training more compelling and coaching more effective. Here are four instances when using stories can be particularly effective.

New-hire orientation: Share stories about what you do as an organization that makes a difference in the world for both your customers and community.

Starting a presentation: Grab your audience's interest right away by sharing a story about how knowing the material your presentation covers made a difference to someone with whom you worked.

Teaching abstract concepts: Use analogies from common, everyday life and from your learner's unique perspective.

Coaching: Use a story to help you challenge limiting beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes. Because you are demonstrating the concept through "just a story," you often encounter less defensiveness and resistance.

These tips were adapted from the May 2012 Infoline, "Powerful Storytelling Techniques," available at www.astd.org/infoline.