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Once upon a time

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It is not important what you say. What is important is what your audience remembers.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
“Great stories happen to those who can tell them,” Ira Glass, an American radio personality and journalist, said once. So how can I become a better storyteller? The quickest way to lose audience is to open a Power Point slideshow in a dark room and start talking. Content is not the only king. Connection is. Facts do not persuade, feelings do – and stories are the best way to get at those feelings. Just look how Steve Jobs does it. Check out Businessweek columnist Carmine Gallo’s fantastic slideshow, “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.”

check out prwalker/the-presentationsecrets-of-stevejobs-2814996

The power of a good story

a Good story is…

…simple “Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” …detailed “Give details; from them we prosper. In the generality, we die. Give an experience, not a whole life.”
Finnish author kari hotakainen

French film director Jean Luc Godard

once upon a time: This is how stories all around the world begin. Next we bring in the hero, an arch-enemy and a mission that is in serious need of completion. At the end comes the moral of the story. Many of the same stories circulate the globe in different versions. Perhaps the best-known folktale in the world, Cinderella, originates from ninth-century China. From there, it spread as a Brothers Grimm check out adaptation, as joyce_hostyn/influencea Scandinavian through-storytelling version, and ultimately as the film version made famous by Walt Disney in 1950. People everywhere are hungry for stories. Old folktales are passed from one generation to the next through oral narration. A good storyteller always has plenty of listeners. If you have a good story, you and your message will be remembered. Stories entertain, but they also bring order to a confusing world – both to life, in general, and to the business world. “Stories are humane and identifiable. You can tell a story is good when people relate to the characters. Relating to characters is what creates emotions,” says story designer and scriptwriter Anne Kalliomäki, CEO of Tarinakone, a company that specializes in creating

stories for service industry companies. In her job, Kalliomäki creates story identities for travel industry companies and establishes them as part of the service experience. First, a so-called core story is invented. It is built around the company’s business plan, values, vision, environment and history. With the help of the story, the company’s brand is tied to be part of the customer’s service experience. Kalliomäki gives a concrete example: “A travel company can create a story connected to dining, for example. Each part of the meal comes with a story linked to the company’s story identity, and so the eating experience progresses in a storylike fashion. A good example of this is the restaurant Old Hansa in Tallinn, where customers are transported to the middle of a medieval tale.” Stories make companies more humane and set them apart from competitors. A good story sticks in your mind and can easily be recounted to others. Stories that communicate emotions enable companies to form strong bonds with their customers. “The characters in famous stories always have weaknesses that are surmounted,” she says. This idea is also transferable to business. “It is worthwhile for companies to openly tell about their weaknesses and how they overcame them. Those kinds of stories make it easier to connect with the company in a way that creates emotional bonds.”

You can use Toolbox materials at work, to link with your blog or when giving a presentation – or forward it to colleagues. The background ideas are available in a variety of web sources.

In slides: In pdf-format:

The entire magazine:

at the Icelandic engineering firm Verkís and bestselling author Yrsa Sigurðardóttir combines skillful storytelling in both of her occupations. She shares some tips with readers. “A very important thing for a crime writer and a business director is to create a comprehensible, fascinating world to the message’s receiver,” Sigurðardóttir says. Sigurðardóttir lives in Iceland but works in international markets. As an author, she has sold millions of copies worldwide. As the head of Iceland’s biggest construction company, she is involved in projects for geothermal and hydropower plants around the world. “There are many similarities in writing a good crime novel and coming up with a persuasive contract offer. You must make the buyer at the power plant understand your message, become interested in it, and fully engage himself in the content. The same applies to writing a good crime novel.” Power plant projects are big and extremely complex. The project must be described to the potential client in a way that explains the venture clearly and also creates a wish to know more about it. A good story plays the main role here, not the technical details. “A good crime novel has attention-grabbing details about the main characters and places that keep the story interesting. In the same manner a business partner, be that a client or a colleague, needs to be given relevant details about a new thing to make it graspable, yet at the same time remembering not to drown them in trivial details.”
Division manaGer

Tips from a Successful

“The most successful movies, books and stories have one thing in common: story structure,”
claims the guru of storytelling in business, Doug stevenson.

9 steps of structure
stevenson is the founder of a consulting company Story Theater International, which each year trains thousands of professionals in companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Hewlett Packard. In his video clips, Stevenson gives practical tips to successful presentation: “Take a story from your own life. Recall a situation when you were faced with a problem. Talk to your check out Stevenson’s audience as a person Nine Steps of Story Structure in practice: to a person. Emotion is the fast lane to the watch?v=GQ3BDkMN1LY brain. When you have built a connection, provide content. The most important thing is not what you say, but what your audience remembers.” 1 2 3 set the scene. time, place, atmosphere. introduce the characters. Begin the journey. the journey is the task, objective or activity to be accomplished. encounter the obstacle. the obstacle is the challenge. overcome the obstacle. resolve the story. make the point. each story should have only one point. ask “the Question.” repeat the point.

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Receive Storytelling News to 6 Your Inbox For Managers: tolkien and the reality of Work community
Trends, truths and things in the field of business storytelling. Bi-weekly newsletter from Get Storied: Improve your presentation and storytelling skills each month. Story Theater newsletter: http://storytelling-in-business. com/newsletter as a manager, are you a patient Gandalf or an authoritarian Sauron? J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy can also be read as a management manual. harri hietikko’s doctorate thesis “Power, Leadership, Doom and Hope in J. R. R. Tolkien’s work The Lord of the Rings, or ‘management by Sauron’” analyses today’s different manager types and management phenomena from the vantage point of a fantasy novel: “In meetings, a Frodo-manager usually sits quietly observing the situation, unless s/he happens to be the chair, in which case his/her actions are poised and strictly professional… A Frodo-leader is not interested in ideas or visions. S/he focuses on the task currently at hand and thrives most in completing relatively straightforward projects. That is when s/he becomes very determined and unyielding.”
DoWnLoaD The entire doctorate thesis as a PDF file at http://acta.

Believe me!
Are you trying to convince others to believe in your message?

BeLieve me: A Storytelling Manifesto for Change-Makers and Innovators takes you on a journey that distills the richness of a story as heritage, and applies it to the heart of best business practices. The author, michael margolis, is the founder and CEO of Get Storied, an education and media company.
Download the book for free at


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