Doxa Future Insights program participant Hue Man Dang

Storytelling plays a fundamental part in the way we communicate, interact and interpret the world. It’s also an increasingly important skill in business. One young person who recognises this is Future Insights program participant Hue Man Dang. Hue Man is passionate about leadership, development and authentic communication. She recently won a coveted place on Anecdote’s “Storytelling For Leaders” course. Over to Hue Man to tell us more..

Hi nice to meet you! My name is Hue Man Dang. I currently go to the University of Melbourne, studying a Bachelor of Science. I am 100% committed to making sure that young people have access to educational material and resources.

Is the narrative of my life really boring? Sometimes I feel like it is.

But perhaps it isn’t – but it is just that I don’t know how to turn it into a compelling story (yet)!

When I first applied for the “Storytelling for Leadership” course, a part of me had no idea what I was getting myself into. I saw the website, looked at the past programs and could not turn away from an opportunity for personal development.

  • Leadership. Check.
  • Opportunity. Check.
  • Learning. Check.

I had only heard about storytelling briefly, but really didn’t know much about it, nonetheless I threw myself in the deep end because I believe that any opportunity no matter how slim, is worth it.

“Thanks to the wonderful Doxa I had the absolutely amazing opportunity of going on adventure into learning more about how I could capitalise on storytelling from a business / social perspective but also personally.”

Notes from the “Storytelling For Leaders” workshop

Storytelling isn’t fiction

When the workshop started, we were first paired up to introduce ourselves, and that introduction at the beginning was what I told my partner. Stock standard because society normally expects you to get to the point about everything, but this workshop wasn’t normal, it was a dive into the area of communication and psychology. Firstly, stories all have the same elements, a time or place marker, an event, people and something that has happened.

“From a business perspective, stories convey a business purpose and help contribute to the message of the company.”

Throughout the day, we covered key ideas such as the importance of being authentic, because storytelling isn’t fiction, it is real stories that happen to real people. When it comes to presentations and proposals you are going to get more out of stories that have context because stories are memorable, and are not just abstract terms in bullet points. If you want to make a good first impression (especially if you want to get that job) then your narrative is important, because if your introduction is predictable then people will switch off because they anticipate it.

“Stories show your values as well, and are a good way to build connection and trust.”

The narrative of my life was the same, but the perception was different

At four in afternoon, the narrative of my life was the same, but the perception was different, so I want to tell you a story to illustrate it.

As a young woman who was born in Vietnam, English was my second language and therefore I always struggled with pronunciation (I still do). During one of my debates in High School, a member of the audience suddenly stood up at the end during the comments section and straight up told me that I needed to practice my words more, though she probably didn’t mean it in spite.

But now it doesn’t matter if I can’t pronounce everything. No. What matters most is the story that I am going to tell.

Reflecting on key takeaways from the session (L) Doxa Cadet Jack Choo (R) Hue Man Dang

Looking to the future

In the future, I hope to use the knowledge that I have learnt today to give back to the community. I am currently working on a project called Brain Nation Hub which supports young people to build on their skills around leadership and growth, and so I will make sure the story that I tell, will be one that is going to help a lot of people in the future.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank Doxa for this incredible experience, without the organisation, I wouldn’t have been able to learn so much of not just about how I can communicate better, but also learn more about who I am, from such an inspiring speaker.”

Thanks for sharing your experience Hue Man Dang! Also a big thanks to Anecdote for offering places at their “Storytelling For Leaders” course to Doxa program participants.