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How To Effectively Use Storytelling in Your Business & Life

Story is the most powerful medium we can communicate ideas, values, and culture to a group of people. Yet we tend to lean on the crutch of data, charts, and analytics, ignoring the way we've shared ideas with each other for thousands of years.

The main reason is that we forget what elements make up a great story, and how to tell it. Telling a great story can get even trickier when we're talking about our work and the message we're communicating to customers.

In this talk, I share different story structures and elements you can apply in your life and work, and examples of how successful companies are telling great stories. You'll hear from storytellers like Joseph Campbell, Donald Miller, Pixar, and more.

To hear the audio from this talk, visit http://soundcloud.com/matt-ragland/storytelling-in-life-and-work

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How To Effectively Use Storytelling in Your Business & Life

  1. 1. Effectively Using Storytelling in ! Your Life and Work by @MattRagland ! StorySignals.com/pcn14storytelling
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1. Personal 2. The Psychology ! 3. Business: Company-Focused ! 4. Business: Customer-Focused
  3. 3. Who knows ! what is good, ! and what is bad?
  4. 4. Story Structures
  5. 5. Donald Miller
  6. 6. Once upon a time there was _____. Every day, _____. One day, _____. Because of that, _____. Because of that, _____. Until one day, _____
  7. 7. A character is presented with a challenge. He seeks (or is given) help from mentors and collaborators. He formulates a plan and begins the journey. Along the way, he experiences success, failure, and is changed. Upon completion, he returns, ready to help others change.
  8. 8. I want ____, but need ____ in order to ____. ____ is in the way, and I need help from ____ to overcome it and achieve my goal. Choose your Storyline
  9. 9. Athletic challenges are popular ! because they offer absolute clarity.
  10. 10. I want to run a half-marathon, but need to get in better shape. My priorities and fitness habits are in the way, and I need help from a coach or training plan to overcome the challenges and finish the race.
  11. 11. I want to write a book, but need a plan and a practice. My choices on how I spend free time are in the way, and I need help from other writers and teachers to overcome the resistance and do the work.
  12. 12. Why stories are so powerful
  13. 13. “Stories have the power to transport us and affect our beliefs. Storytellers are often more believable and their mistakes are less apparent than data-dumpers. Furthermore, stories help make information and lessons easier to process and retain” ! Green & Brock Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000
  14. 14. “A story is a trick for sneaking ! a message into the fortified ! citadel of the human mind”
  15. 15. Have you ever been told it’s time to move on?
  16. 16. Smoke Signals ! 1. Great characters understand challenges and responsibility! ! 2. Great characters understand conflict and the role it plays! ! 3. Great characters in great stories show vulnerability and seek help
  17. 17. Vulnerability “Cultivating vulnerability in a relationship or organization is like turning on the lights in a dark room. It’s best to turn on a string of little lights than blind someone with a flashlight.”! - Brene Brown in Daring Greatly
  18. 18. Effective Storytelling for Your Business ! Company Focused
  19. 19. Problems and Challenges
  20. 20. The champion for the common man, making air travel affordable & democratic
  21. 21. Healthy, ethically-sourced food should be accessible, affordable, and delicious
  22. 22. We are dedicated to collaborative and independent creativity, continuously seeking to remove the barriers which impede such work.
  23. 23. We want our gear to integrate and connect with the outdoor experience, not conquer it. ! ! “We want Topo gear to do exactly what is needed in your outdoor adventures, but nothing more. The pack should be a integrated in to the experience, and not conquer it. In a way, we want the gear to get out of the way and allow the outdoorsman to take in the majesty of the outdoors without fussing with his pack” Jedd Rose, Founder
  24. 24. Finding meaning in your work
  25. 25. Great Stories are Everywhere
  26. 26. 4 S words
  27. 27. 1. Solving the Story What problem are they solving?! What challenges are being overcome?! What are the obstacles & conflicts?! Can anyone else help guide/teach us?! Who else is on the journey with me?
  28. 28. 2. Simplify the Story Now, simplify your answers down to a few sentences.
  29. 29. 3. Scaling the Story What can we do this ! day/week/month/quarter/year?
  30. 30. Hint: Start small
  31. 31. 4. Sharing the Story Is your team sharing the same, clear story? ! if not, here’s more help…
  32. 32. Why How What from Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why
  33. 33. Rockmont Story Why we do camp How we do camp What it looks like (at camp, away from camp) 1. Why we do the work we do 2. How we do the work we do 3. What the work looks like
  34. 34. Customer Focused Stories
  35. 35. Problems and Solutions • Is the problem and solution clear to the customer?! • Is it a problem they need help with?
  36. 36. Shift in Mindset and Responsibility
  37. 37. You are the Guide ! with a plan… …they are the Hero with a challenge
  38. 38. The best opportunities lie in our deepest struggles
  39. 39. Thank You!! matt@storysignals.com! @MattRagland! StorySignals.com - Where I Talk! TeamHouse.co - Where I Work! StorySignals.com/pcn14storytelling
  40. 40. Reflect and Project A free ebook on StorySignals.com

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