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What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?
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What's Your Story?


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Using organizational storytelling for greater reach and influence

Using organizational storytelling for greater reach and influence

Published in: Business, Education, Technology
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  • Bill, Thanks for your nice comments. I love your elevator pitch-sermon idea. What a terrific way to think about the passion behind the message. Keep spreading the gospel of storytelling!
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  • Suzanne, this is really well done. Very insightful and thorough, reaffirming some concepts I've long prescribed to, but also giving me some completely new ones to wrap my head around, so thanks for that. One of the things that struck me was this notion of 'What prayer do you answer?' It reminded me of my first post on my blog, 'You've got an elevator pitch, but what's your sermon?'

    Keep the great ideas coming and keep the faith. Bill Baker (StorytellerBill)
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  • Now who wouldn’t want to be part of this crowd?
  • Neuroscience Brain Rules by John Medina
  • Everyone is afraid of telling a joke that noone laughs at.
  • .
  • Write it out – one pageCampbell's term monomyth, also referred to as the hero's journey, refers to a basic pattern found in many narratives from around the world. This widely distributed pattern was first fully described in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).[19] An enthusiast of novelist James Joyce,[20] Campbell borrowed the term from Joyce's Finnegans Wake.[21] As a strong believer in the unity of human consciousness and its poetic expression through mythology, through the monomyth concept, Campbell expressed the idea that the whole of the human race could be seen as reciting a single story of great spiritual importance and in the preface to The Hero with a Thousand Faces he indicated it was his goal to demonstrate similarities between Eastern and Western religions.
  • What will best serve your story?
  • Transcript

    • 1. What’s Your Story?
      Defining and Communicating
      your unique tale
      for greater influence and reach
      Suzanne E. Henry May 2011
    • 2. Once Upon A Time
      Have you ever grown tired of hearing,
      Let me tell you a story?
    • 3. A Long History
      Modern storytellers are the descendants
      of an immense and ancient community of
      holy people, troubadours, bards, griots, cantadoras, cantors, traveling poets,
      bums, hags and crazy people.
      ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
    • 4. Why Use Storytelling?
      Get Attention
      Are Remembered
      Shape Beliefs
      Change Minds
    • 5. EFFECTIVE
      when delivered in the form of a story
      transfers it
      from short term memory
      to long term memory
      Especially when it evokes the most powerful emotions
      (love/affinity, fear, sadness, happiness)
    • 6. Common Worries
      If I talk about myself, I’ll be labeled a narcissist or worse, a marketer
      I will sound too emotional or unprofessional
      I can’t get my story into 5 sentences!
      My story’s not that great
      My story won’t sell
    • 7. He/She who tells the best story wins
    • 8. What is Organizational Storytelling?
      Not messaging
      Not discourse
      Not debate
      Not exposition
      Narrative that evokes
      emotion, connection, understanding and action
    • 9. The Best Organizational NarrativesTake You on a Journey of Change
      Uncommon self-expression
      Express a universal truth
      Give context to complexities
      Show a possibility
      Contain players: hero, victim, villain
      Contain a turning point and resolution
      Make a human connection
    • 10. What is Your Story?
    • 11. Two Stages
    • 12. Define/Discover
      Who are you?
      What is it you are trying to accomplish?
      What prayer do you answer?
      What happened that launched you?
      What dragons or villains have you slain?
      What have you learned?
      How was (or is) your issue being resolved?
    • 13. Know Your AudienceWhat makes your audience act?
      Information: They are moved by data? Do they just not know?
      Insight: Are they just looking for what to do?
      Imagination: Are they seeking to
      make something new happen?
      Illumination: Are they seeking
      to be changed at a deep level?
      From Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen
    • 14. The 5 Stages of a Hero’s Journey(Joseph Campbell)
      The “call”
      Venturing into the unknown
      The challenge
      “Slaying the Dragon”
      Homecoming/sharing the discovery & lessons
    • 15. Delivering
      Identify your voice
      Choose your language
      Identify anecdotes and illustrations
      Choose channels
    • 16. Your Voice
      What is the tone or voice of your organization?
      Who should give voice to your narrative?
      Who else can tell your story in your voice?
    • 17. Your Language
      Power words
      Words to avoid
      Positive vs. negative
      Humor vs. straight
    • 18. Anecdotes/Illustrations
      What has happened? (resolutions/events)
      What could have happened? (narrow miss)
      What will happen? (Armageddon)
      What did you make happen? (hero)
    • 19. Format
      Engage their senses! Engage their emotions!
    • 20. Choose Channels
      Blogging/social media
      Web site
      Direct mail
    • 21. From Story to Storyteller
      Story library
      Origin story – Why are you here, what happened?
      Signature story – What is one anecdote that illustrates your mission?
      The participant story (i.e. donor) – What is the future we can co-create? What is/was the call to action?
      Signature statement
    • 22. Exercise
      How did you start (origin)?
      What was a signature moment?
      Who has worked with you?
      What is your key point
      from the above?
    • 23. Why was Solomon recognized as the wisest man in the world? Because he knew more stories (proverbs) than anyone else. Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom
      and we're all just cavemen with briefcases,
      hungry for a wise person to tell us stories.
      ~Alan Kay, Vice President Walt Disney
    • 24. Additional Resources
      Story by Robert McKee
      Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen
      The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling by Stephen Denning
      LinkedIn Groups;
      Organizational Storytelling -
      Storytelling for Business -
    • 25. Tell Me a Story!
      Suzanne E. Henry
      Four Leaf Public Relations LLC
      +1 434-972-7278 - office
      Twitter: @SuzanneHenry
      Business Storytelling Blog: