How to Tell Stories Like Malcolm Gladwell

When I lead storytelling workshops, someone inevitably says their work or their business is too complex to capture in a story. That’s when I point them to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, Tipping Point and other bestsellers. I once watched Gladwell keep a ballroom full of people on the edge of their seats with an hour-long […]

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Storytelling Requires Courage

Storytelling Requires Courage, Discipline and Trust

Storytelling is about making hard choices, having the conviction to stand by those choices and respecting your audience’s intelligence. That’s a particularly tall order when you’re telling a story on behalf of a giant organization, where the approval process is fraught with perils, hurdles — and lawyers. So I was delighted to come across a stellar example […]

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Story overload

Story Overload: Too Much of a Good Thing

If you’re giving a presentation, storytelling can help you break down walls with your audience, earn their trust and, ultimately, influence them to do the thing you want them to do — accept your idea, approve your budget, invite you back, or hire you on the spot. But storytelling is a tool that should be […]

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Why Stories Fail

10 Fatal Mistakes Storytellers Make

Have you ever told a story that bombed? Or that just didn’t get the response you were hoping for? Don’t feel bad — it happens to everyone. But if you want to keep it from happening again, you need to diagnose what went wrong. Chances are, you made one (or more) of these fatal storytelling mistakes. […]

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I am not a communist

It’s True: I Am Not a Communist

There, I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest. When I do presentations, I get all kinds of feedback, from the eye-opening to the mind-bending. But until recently I’d never been accused of being a mindless tool of the capitalist agenda. Estela and the Candy Factory It was during a webinar when […]

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How to structure a story

How to Structure a Story in 3 Easy Steps

If you want to break down walls with an audience and influence them to act, nothing beats a well-told story. To create that story, simplicity is key: you need three basic elements: Character Goal Challenge Now you can make it as complicated as you want, layering on other elements like a turning point or a […]

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Brian Williams

Brian Williams: Cats, Dogs, Mass Hysteria!

The more this Brian Williams story plays out, the more ridiculous it seems. Unless NBC knows something the rest of us don’t, a six-month suspension seems pretty draconian. (But not draconian enough for those demanding he be fired.) I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I don’t watch the NBC Nightly News (or any […]

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Tell Original Stories

Stop Telling the Same Old Stories: 5 Tips for Being Original

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to engage and persuade an audience. But not if you’re telling the same old stories we’ve all heard a thousand times before. You need to tell truly original stories — otherwise, people will tune you out. Here’s What Not to Do Stop me if you’ve heard this […]

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What is a Story?

What is a Story? Here’s What It’s Not

Storytelling has become one of the most overused, misused and abused concepts in business today. People play fast and loose with the definition of story. So what is a story? The first step in figuring that out what a story is, is understanding what a story is not. A quote from Winston Churchill is not a […]

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Storytelling and the Brain: A Marriage of Lies

I hate to be the one to break the news, but your brain lies to you. Constantly. The good news is, you can use that knowledge to your advantage in telling your story. And storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience and get them to act, whether it’s clicking through […]

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