Category Archives: Applied stories

Instead of a slide deck, next time try a story

This is a story about a story. It begins with a 53-page PowerPoint deck that looked like it had been spliced together by 20 people. Because it had. The CEO was hours away from sending it off to the home office and it was nowhere near presentable. She told me to put my best writer […]
Also posted in storytelling theory, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three narratives told on Yoga Day

The Magician’s story In town only four days, she serendipitously had met the hostess of the Yoga Day USA open house just hours before. Now she stood in the suburban basement, surrounded by strangers sitting cross-legged on mats, and talked about her lineage. She is a descendant of ancient Jewish high priests and of Dakota […]
Also posted in storytelling theory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poet brings vision statement to life

Tears of pride welled up yesterday as I watched a corporate video. A corporate video! Diane Gage-Lofgren, our national VP of communications and PR, had asked a poet/performance artist  to bring life to our communication team’s new vision statement. A stroke of genius. I will forever have a visual and resonant image to add soul […]
Also posted in storytelling theory, Visual storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Filmmaker’s advice for great business storytelling

Filmmaker Peter Guber (Rainman, Batman, The Color Purple) once used storytelling to win Fidel Castro’s support for filming in Havana Harbor. The official application form had been torpedoed, but El Presidente enthusiastically endorsed the project once he heard Guber tell of the harbor’s historic significance and Castro’s responsibility to the world to share that piece of […]
Also posted in Excellent stories, storytelling theory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stories trump facts: The mammography lesson

The facts are clear: You have to give 1,900 women mammograms before you save one life. Along the way are hundreds of false positives, needless worry and unnecessary procedures. The stories are more compelling: We all know someone whose breast cancer was caught early. That one life is real to us. The hundreds of false-positives […]
Also posted in storytelling theory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A story for parents whose chicks are leaving the nest

Frank Sanchez saw that there were many parents among the auditorium full of entering college freshmen. As the convocation for new students drew to a close, Frank, my university’s associate vice chancellor of student life, shared this story: The eagle gently coaxed her offspring toward the edge of the nest. Her heart quivered with conflicting […]
Also posted in Excellent stories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Story of the week: ‘You, your patient, and their story’

“Let me tell you the story of the frantic father and his 2-year-old daughter who was gasping for breath in the middle of the night. The father feared the worst as he rushed with his daughter to The Children’s emergency room.” It was easy to see why Jonathan Browser was chosen by the 39 graduates […]
Also posted in Excellent stories, story of the week | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Book review: Must-read for job seekers

In her new book Tell Me About Yourself, Katharine Hansen provides actionable advice for incorporating storytelling in cover letters, resumes, job interviews, and conversations with the boss. As someone who is on the hiring end of the equation, I can vouch for the effectiveness of strategic storytelling (see my posts, What I look for in […]
Also posted in Book reviews, Organizational communication, Your career | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Record exec can spin a tale

Jim Griffin chewed through stories and a New York strip — simultaneously. Over dinner at Elway’s in Denver last week, he snatched stray vignettes from history to put a new spin on the music business in the age of Napster. He reframed the people-vs.-corporations narrative to one that puts artists on one side and willing […]
Also posted in storytelling theory | 1 Comment

Bioscience vs. PETA: The told story

A researcher once called me to his lab, spitting mad at PETA. His inbox was filled with nasty-grams, spurred on by a PETA campaign against his research, which involved killing small animals. He wanted me to help him publish an op-ed in which he methodically laid out the reasons for using animals in research that […]
Also posted in Marketing and PR, Opinion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
  • Latest Tweets