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Storytelling: A Key Step You Shouldn’t Overlook

Over the last two decades,

the word “storytelling” has become

a big buzzword in business.

What I’ve found, having worked

with many different teams

on their storytelling skills,

is that everyone has their own

interpretation of what the word

“storytelling” actually means––

even within the same organization.

This past Tuesday,

I attended the World Premiere of

Pixar’s Inside Out 2.

Disney/Pixar’s storytelling is,

of course, exceptional.

What Pixar manages to do in this sequel

(and in the original Inside Out film)

is to take a complex subject

and make it relatable, entertaining,

emotional, informative, and memorable.

When it comes to your own interests

in storytelling (for yourself or your organization),

it’s important to consider the intent.

There are a range of applications,

situations, and outcomes

for which “storytelling” might be used.

Which are you considering?

When clients are bringing me on board,

it’s imperative for me to first

understand how they interpret the word.

And so I’ll ask a variety of questions

to learn if they’re referring to

…their company story,

…client stories (a.k.a. case studies),

…team members’ personal stories,

…an “origin” story,


…narrative themes,

…brand messaging,

…the arc of their communications,

…their personal beliefs or perspective,

…how to make a value proposition come to life,

…better connecting with client needs,

…or sales training and sales structure.

Over time, in one form or another,

I’ve heard each of the above

in answer to my questions.

Bottom line: people have

many interpretations of the word.

And while there’s overlap,

each application requires

its own approach

and specific set of tools.

So the next time you

(or someone in your organization)

is keen to advance an initiative

around a large topic area such as

storytelling, culture, creativity,

authenticity or innovation,

it’s worth drilling down a bit

to learn what exactly is meant.

Why that word?

What prompted the need/request?

How might the skills be applied?

And towards what ultimate outcome?

Because getting clearer on this

can make all the difference.

Risk Forward & Rock On,


P.S. To learn more about a few of our programs on storytelling skills for yourself or for your team, please check out Rock The Room® and High Performance Communications.

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