How Storytelling Can Improve Networking with Keith Bailey

How to Use Storytelling to Improve Networking with Chief Story Enabler, Keith Bailey

In this week’s episode of the Leadership Habit Podcast, we welcome back returning guest Keith Bailey. Keith joins host Jenn DeWall to explain how being a great storyteller can improve networking! If you dread attending networking events or find making small talk challenging, you don’t want to miss this episode! 

Keith Bailey is the Founder and “Chief Story Enabler” of Articulated Intelligence. Articulated Intelligence helps professionals learn to grow their relationship equity by investing in their communication skills. Keith was on the show previously to discuss the importance of storytelling. 

Listeners may remember that his co-founder, Alyce Blum, also recently appeared on the podcast to discuss the art of networking. Now, Keith has returned to share how to use the power of storytelling to improve your networking skills!

Episode Summary Below

Jenn DeWall and Keith Bailey discuss the importance of using storytelling skills in networking to build relationships and create connections. Keith emphasizes that we should be putting the person before the profession. To do this, focus on getting to know the individual rather than just talking about what one does for a living.

Jenn points out that with a recent wave of layoffs in several industries, asking someone what they do for a living may lead to an unintentionally uncomfortable conversation. Keith then shares a story about a financial planner who struggled with networking events because of the taboo nature of discussing money. Keith suggests sharing real life stories and interests to make connections before discussing work.  

Avoiding Common Networking Mistakes

Keith emphasizes the need to avoid common networking mistakes, such as pushing yourself onto the people you meet. He also warns against getting stuck in a Yes/No cycle of questions. Instead, he suggests starting conversations with a “best question” that allows individuals to share something positive about themselves. 

For example, asking “What is the best thing you’ve done this year?” or “What is the best thing you’ve learned at this conference?” Asking this type of question opens the door for a conversation that doesn’t feel like an elevator pitch. 

Keith also reminds the audience to practice active listening. Because people get nervous at networking events, they are too busy thinking about what to say. Then, they forget to listen to the other person. This is why it is often hard to recall someone’s name even though they just told it to you. 

The Elements of a Good Story

Jenn and Keith also delve into the elements of a compelling story, emphasizing that great stories are made by keeping it specific, concise, and memorable. Keith introduces the acronym S-A-R-M, which stands for Situation, Action, Resolution, and Meaning. 

By including these elements, storytellers can engage their audience and foster meaningful connections. Keith then provides examples. These include how to incorporate location, dialogue, and tension into a story, as well as the significance of adding personal meaning to enhance the conversation.

Jenn and Keith highlight the benefits of storytelling, such as building knowledge, trust, establishing common ground, and making conversations more memorable. Keith then coaches Jenn through crafting a great story about a recent personal experience. By practicing a real life example, they illustrate how it is done. 

Storytelling can be challenging! Keth and Jenn encourage listeners to keep practicing telling stories effectively to improve your personal and professional network.

How to Connect with Keith Bailey

If you would like to learn more about Keith Bailey or his company, Articulated Intelligence, you can visit or connect with Keith on LinkedIn

A Message from Crestcom

Crestcom is a global organization dedicated to developing effective leaders. Companies all over the world have seen their managers transformed into leaders through our award-winning and accredited leadership development programs. Our signature BPM program provides interactive management training with a results-oriented curriculum and prime networking opportunities. If you’re interested in learning more about our flagship program and developing your managers into leaders, please visit our website to find a leadership trainer near you.

Or maybe you yourself have always wanted to train and develop others. Crestcom is a global franchise with ownership opportunities available throughout the world. If you have ever thought about being your own boss, owning your own business and leveraging your leadership experience to impact businesses and leaders in your community, Crestcom may be the right fit for you. We’re looking for professional executives who are looking for a change and want to make a difference in people’s lives. Learn more about our franchise opportunity on the Own A Franchise page of our website at