As an accountant, storytelling is essential to sharing data. Using stories to share how data relates to business decisions in easily understood ways helps to explain complex information in a digestible way. Because people remember impactful stories, they’ll more easily retain what you said and apply it to short- and long-term planning. Learn more about why storytelling is essential to how you manage company data.
What Does Storytelling Have To Do With Accounting?
1. Why Accountants Need to Tell Stories
Although you’re fluent in the language of accounting, most of your coworkers and clients aren’t. Whereas you may see meaning in a balance sheet and appreciate a set of perfectly reconciled books, to others it may be a bunch of numbers put together. By adding stories to the data, you convey their meaning and show why they’re important. Using effective, relatable stories to convey information the data provides gives business owners, tax payers and decision-makers a better understanding of what the information means and why it matters.
2. How Stories Help Non-Accountants Learn
Powerful stories evoke emotion, help people learn and inspire action. When your audience is emotionally engaged, they’re more inclined to make business decisions based on your data. A gripping story also aids in learning. Becoming absorbed in a story releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes us feel good and causes addiction. When our brains are flooded with dopamine, we process information and create memories. As a result, we learn better and remember more.
3. Determining How Much to Disclose
Although you may have been taught to stick with the facts throughout your accounting career, you need to bring some personal elements into your stories. Personal experiences make stories more compelling and impactful. They’re the best way to show your true self while helping others learn. Focus on being authentic and relating your experience to your audience.
4. Tips for Telling a Good Story
Sharing an effective story is simple. Start by setting the scene. State your reason for telling your story and what you’d like the audience to get out of it. Include only relevant details, and quickly get to the point. Focus on the benefits of what you’re sharing and how they affect audience members. Draw their attention to the positive impacts your story and the underlying data will have on the company, division, people and stakeholders. Discuss the problems and how they can be overcome. Share why the story and data matter and how they benefit others. Practice your story several times before presenting it to your audience.
Share Your Accounting Stories with Mercer Bradley
At Mercer Bradley, we love hearing our candidates’ accounting stories. As a leading recruitment firm, we want to know how your skills, knowledge and experience make you best qualified to fill our clients’ accounting positions. Begin sharing your stories with us today!