Storytelling

Build Better Teams. Share Your Credo

Labor Day has put me in mind of my Dad. In October he’ll be gone three years. I find myself telling a lot of stories about him lately as a way to teach important leadership competencies to clients; especially the competency of shaping team culture by sharing personal values. At Columbia Business School they call this having a leadership credo statement. My Dad would find the fact that I use him to teach a Business School concept hilarious. Unlike the [...]

Stories Help Business Developers sell more. Faster

Q1 is drawing to a close. This means business developers and sales professionals across industries are being questioned about their numbers: Are we tracking to goal? If not, why not? What else can we do to deepen our customer relationships and sell more, faster? When sales leaders and marketing directors ask me this last question I recommend storytelling. I recommend storytelling because it’s the one tool that builds trust and credibility with customers—while simultaneously creating desire for your product or [...]

5 Ways to Improve the Beginning & End of your Presentations

Last week the CFO of a mid-market company here in Manhattan invited me to attend his Quarterly Town Hall meeting. He wanted my feedback on how well his team presented. I sat in the back of the room as speaker after speaker loaded text heavy PowerPoint slides onto the screen and then began their presentation with these 8 words: I’m going to talk to you today about…(reveal an agenda slide.) Every presentation sounded like a lecture. By the end of [...]

Make Your Presentations Pop. Think Like A Screenwriter!

Last week I met with a young manager who was frustrated by the success of a colleague: I don’t understand how she gets buy-in to the exact same ideas I try to pitch. Somehow when she explains it everyone jumps on board. I wasn’t surprised to hear this. His colleague is a phenomenal storyteller. Often the difference between a recommendation that is embraced—and one that isn’t—is the way in which it is communicated. Communicate with Narrative for Better Impact Researchers have [...]

Why Storytelling Works as a Leadership Tool

Earlier in the year I was invited to join one of my clients, as a guest speaker along side their CEO, Sean Kavanagh. The venue was a webinar for TrainingIndustry.com. Over 1,000 people registered to learn about Storytelling as a business tool. Our host started the conversation by asking: Why is storytelling so impactful? It’s a provocative question. I’ve given it a lot of thought in part, because I’ve earned my living as a storyteller and teacher of storytelling for over 2 decades. [...]

Strategic Storytelling for Leaders

In the summer of 2010 the now retired General Stanley A. McChrystal was Commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. One day, during an important briefing in Kabul, he was shown the following PowerPoint slide: It was meant to represent the most current military strategy. Upon seeing the slide General McChrystal interrupted the briefing and said: “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.” The room erupted in laughter. This is a noteworthy example of what happens when [...]