I use to get very impatient with stories in books and presentations saying to myself, "Give me the facts and get to the bottom line." I changed my tune about stories once I realized that the stories is what I remembered best.
What is it about stories that causes us to remember them? They touch our emotions because we can see ourselves in the story wondering what we would do in a similar situation. Our students are no different. Fiction books are a great way to introduce students to stories. Biographies and autobiographies are great, too.
Sharing stories also creates a bond between the storyteller and the listeners. That may be one reason Abraham Lincoln is loved and revered so much--He was a terrific storyteller.
We can improve our storytelling skills by telling stories and learning from the best. Every summer there is the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Utah that would be great to attend.