"What’s the first thing you do when meeting someone new? You ask them questions to unveil their story: Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? Do you have children? Do you come here often? Questioning a stranger is more than a polite way to pass time — it’s the core of trying to connect.
Stories make life interesting and give people a way to connect. People crave them, which creates a big opportunity for brand storytelling."
"Once again this shows the power of the mind to create a story to make sense of its surroundings. Your brain is happier to believe there are connections between the things that it sees. This is a vital insight for your brand experience. If you do not control the story, your audience will find their own and maybe it’s not the story you want to tell."
"Show, don’t tell is about storytelling. The beauty of teaching through storytelling is that a story provides lessons that can be translated and interpreted. Storytelling inspires people because someone is sharing what they have accomplished and the listener learns it is possible and can use her imagination to decide how to apply it."
"My father and his brother arrived at Ellis Island in 1922, the only survivors of a pogrom in their Russian village. My mother moved to Harlem from rural French Canada. My parents’ desire to see a better world led them to join the American Communist party and become union organizers.
In the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, my father was charged with Conspiracy to Overthrow the U.S. Government. For ten years, as the case dragged on, he was rarely able to work. When he did, he was confronted by men jeering, “Two red-hot Rosenbergs on the grill, one more to go.” My mother’s life was tense and frantic with fear.
It is against this backdrop that my story begins."
"In 2005 I was part of a group who produced stories about the impact of child sexual assault through The Center for Digital Storytelling’s Silence Speaks initiative. Initially after viewing the stories at the end of the workshop, I felt curiosity and surprise at the immediacy of impact: I felt proud, visible, and necessary – quite different from how I had walked into the Berkeley lab feeling on the first day. What has become clear was that this process of internal re-structuring has continued to this day. Making Listening and Telling was the beginning."
"These days, leaders are frequently urged to tell stories to provide direction, navigate a crisis, or sell the next big thing. Yes, stories are powerful, but they shouldn’t be used recklessly or with ill intent.
Jo Tyler of Penn State makes the point in her amazing TEDxPSU talk that stories have a life of their own, whether we tell them or not."
"Believe me, in the end this is about storytelling … The meeting lasted maybe but twenty minutes, but if you get into a conversation about the financial sector and the world of consultancy with a Canadian banker of Indian origin, stories pop up quickly. I had ‘bar duty’ at my tennis club (that’s what a dedicated member does), it was not crowded and I read the book ‘ Mind over matter ‘. He ordered a drink from me and saw the title of the book, which was the cause of our conversation. He had an impressive knowledge of finance and economy, but what was really engaging was his narrative approach, it was in his Indian genes. When he got wind that I have a soft spot for storytelling, he used examples from the Western classical mythology to illustrate his point. We talked about analyses, methods and models and also about how some consultancy firms and individual consultants almost rigidly seem to stick to certain theories and methods."
"MTV teamed with volunteer platform Catchafire to put creative and social firepower behind a worthwhile, "tough sell" cause--the Center for Employment Opportunities, which offers comprehensive job services to people leaving prison."
"We might have fewer characters to work with, but we still hunger for narrative. New mediums aren’t destroying fiction, they’re allowing us to innovate even more in how we create and consume our stories. Plus: an appearance by John Hodgman!"
"As head of the U.S. Health Sciences Practice, my team and I are accustomed to dealing with medical professionals and researchers. We attend industry conferences and work with patient advocacy organizations.
When it comes to disease-specific organizations, we work with our clients to tell their powerful, yet often tear-jerking stories. It’s part of the process of raising awareness for a disease, educating the public (and sometimes even the medical community), or creating a call to action for more funding.
It’s what we do. It’s our job.
So what happens when that story suddenly turns very personal…you learn that a family member ― your mother ― has been diagnosed with a fatal disease?"
“We are wary of listening to stories that we think are being told to manipulate our emotions or push us to believe a certain way,” said Francesca Pollett, author of It Was Like a Fever: Storytelling in Protest and Politics in a phone call with me last year. “On the other hand,” she says, “ambivalent stories, stories with no clear moral agenda, invite the listener to imagine themselves in the story. True engagement happens when the listener can see multiple outcomes for a story and is able to come to their own conclusions.”
"Storytelling has become popular across many different media in the last few years and a lot has been written about both the story and the telling parts of storytelling. One potential problem in the overuse of the word storytelling (am I am guilty as charged) is the difference in discipline of storytelling and storyshowing."
"I've been thinking recently about the way readers come to be in sympathy with characters in a story. This is something that isn't talked about much, and when it is it seems to be in terms of how to manipulate the reader. Indeed, I stopped reading Orson Scott Card for a different reason than the reason everyone else stopped reading him -- long ago he said in a book on how to write that you get reader sympathy by taking a sympathetic character, preferably a child, and doing something terrible to them, like for instance torturing them. Once I knew he was doing this on purpose it was like "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", I couldn't enjoy reading because I felt manipulated. Also, torturing children? Really? That's the only way to make me care? I don't think so."
"But all of that impressive, valuable information about him nearly didn’t make it to me. All the admiration I feel for him, I almost never felt. Even his great advice about how to find investors and the right colleagues was nearly lost. Why?
Because he told such a sad sack story to introduce himself."
"First, you should know that Christopher Vogler who generously wrote her FIVE-PAGE forward said that Gloria had created another heroes journey archetype, the Outlaw. How exciting is that! I related to this archetype for not only my hero, villain and other characters, but for many people I’ve known in life; one of my brothers, an ex-husband, two ex-business partners and more. Understanding an outlaw mentality clarified some things for me that needed clarifying. Enough said."
"When we at KILN do Future-Tense Storytelling, we’re using empathy to convert a dry concept into a story that comes from a possible future and shows us in the here-and-now why a concept might be worth developing.
Future-Tense Storytelling is a tool to win buy-in that invites decision-makers to think beyond the formal business plan or the existing archive of data. It drives conversations inside companies about what products and services to invent…and why. Developed fully, the story is bigger than the formal tools applied to organise action. Story isn’t just one component. Revenue projections, operational plans are like pages – the story is the book."
"If nonprofits want to learn how to create content that both engages audiences and creates devoted supporters, we need look no further than the gold standard offered each day by public radio. Think about it: Radio producers can create stories that keep us in the car for “driveway moments” even when we’ve reached home, just so we can hear the ending.
Public radio has created legions of devotees who give money for something they can already get for free. At the same time, we’re in the middle of a renaissance of digital audio online and via mobile technology.
To take advantage of this exciting and pivotal moment, nonprofits should consider adding audio storytelling to your digital communications toolkit. Here’s why."
Photo courtesy of CubaGallery via Creative Commons