Turning Socks Into Practice: Storytelling, Gratitude and a Wild Design


Telling stories and making your audience priority one takes Habitual practice.

These two areas are most important for anyone who wants to make an impact through presenting.

Before you think storytelling and audience appreciation is only for the stage, think again. If you’re having a conversation with one person, that person is your audience. Pay attention to that one person’s reaction. Watch for non-verbal cues. Listen with empathy (not waiting your turn to respond).

Tell vibrant stories during conversation.

Being intentional in the areas of storytelling and audience engagement – especially when communicating with one or two people, makes for a powerful presenter.

I recently caught myself practicing the art of storytelling and audience appreciation in a simple thank you note.

Two co-workers bought me a monthly subscription to socks. These aren’t just any socks. The socks have cool names and come with a story printed on a double-sided glossy postcard. The socks are off the chart colorful. Wild designs.

Sure, I could have sent a simple thank you note or made a call. But, I had a chance to practice the craft of storytelling and making the recipient of my message feel even more special and appreciated.

Here’s the note I penned to my coworkers:

So… I was having lunch with a friend today, and I notice another guy in the restaurant is wearing “unique” socks. I think to myself: “Maybe it’s time I explore wearing something different…. Matching sock color to my pants color is boring.”

Then, I walk into my office afterwards and there’s a package on my desk. There, inside the envelope is a note from Soul Socks saying Julie and Heather have signed me up for a new pair of socks each month. And, there’s the first pair…. exactly what I wanted (but didn’t know I wanted until 60-minutes earlier). How cool!!

Your timing is impeccable. The gift is perfect (and very generous). I’m excited.. and most grateful! Thank you!!

The story contained the elements of challenge (realization I’m fashion challenged), struggle (where do I even start in choosing socks when I have a difficult enough time color coordinating every morning) and resolution (I get cool socks – delivered to my desk each month) – highly simplified.

By making a habit of storytelling and audience appreciation in the small, everyday conversations, I make it easier to be real, spontaneous and authentic from the stage.

How and when do you most enjoy telling stories?

Dale Dixon