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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Storytelling Tips

Storytelling Tips from JFK: Make the Abstract Meaningful

President Kennedy’s iconic “we choose to go to the moon” speech, which I watched the other day near the anniversary of his death, offers important storytelling tips for anyone trying to explain complex ideas to a general audience. Watch the video (or read the speech here), and see how Kennedy uses analogy to put abstract concepts—big […]

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Theory of Storytelling

Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Storytelling

On Monday I led a 90-minute storytelling workshop in New York for a CEO and his direct reports. They were trying to work out how to rally and unite their employees, but I came away with something, too: what I’m modestly calling A Grand Unified Theory of Storytelling. The event’s organizers had an artist there […]

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Storytelling Hits and Misses

Storytelling Hits and Misses at the Rock Hall of Fame

Last week I was in Cleveland visiting family and I finally got to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (+Museum). I really did enjoy it and I appreciated what they did, but I came away feeling they could do a much, much better job telling the story of “the world’s most powerful art […]

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Ditch the Elevator Pitch

Ditch the Elevator Pitch — Tell Your Story Instead

An elevator pitch can be a handy tool for networking, but it will only take you so far. If you really want to make a connection and influence people to act on your behalf (hire you, buy from you, help you in any way), you need to learn how to craft and tell the story […]

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Webinar: Build Trust, Win Business Through Better Storytelling

I’m presenting a webinar this Thursday that will offer advice on how you can use storytelling to better persuade audiences and make your ideas stick. It’s sponsored by Ragan Communications and there is a registration fee. You can check out the details here. Here’s the program description from the Ragan website: Nothing beats a well-told […]

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