30 May: Storytelling tips #7: Use it to motivate

One of the biggest factor of productivity and retention for employees is feeling connected to the organization. By constantly telling stories from your customers, you help the organization understand their purpose and how each individual contributes to the customer experience. In the medical device industry, patients are often brought into the companies to share how the products have touched their lives through touching and thoughtful stories. Use those stories, we all deserve them.

24 May: Storytelling tip #4: What’s your AIM?

The purpose of a story is to influence. In order to craft a story that can elicit a desired response, work from your audience’s perspective. Who are you talking to? What are their beliefs? What do you want them to do? What do they need to understand in order to take that action? Answer these questions as a foundation to building your story. A clear message means a compelling story. You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!

15 May: Storytelling tip #3: Use your experiences

It’s tempting to write about an alien civilization or a mystery happening in the Amazon, but Ricky Gervais, in an interview with Fast Company talks about how it is best to stick with what we know and find something extraordinary to build a story around. Focus on the story and skip the spaceships… You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!

06 May: Storytelling tip #2: Words matter

The most memorable parts of a story or performance is the beginning and at the end. To really leave a lasting impression, focus on specific words to kick off your presentation strong and with the right tone. For your ending, make sure it’s impactful and addresses your promise at the beginning for a powerful cathartic ending. JD Schramm: Youtube video You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!

02 May: Storytelling tip #1: Start in the middle

Grab the attention of your audience by jumping into the story. A slow buildup is boring and expected. “The house was eerily still and quiet that afternoon…” is much better than “Hi, I’m really happy to be here today… blah blah blah”. Try it for yourself, start in the middle. You can always introduce your topic later. JD Schramm: Youtube video You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!

13 Apr: Don’t complete your visual story

A picture says a thousand words? Maybe it needs to be less verbose. A picture that tells an entire story is stable, it’s safe, it says it all. You get nods when you tell an entire story using a picture. A picture of an apple is just that, an apple. Your audience will look at it, acknowledge and move on. A picture of an apple while having a headline that reads “Apple” is just plain condescending to your audience. Don’t ever do that. But a picture of an apple with a headline that reads “Orange”, now there’s intrigue. Just like a real story, give your audience a reason to be hooked, give them a gap between expectation and reality, give them a reason not to pass on your real story that is yet to be told.

29 Nov: Content overload

There is so much content in the world today. Every company wants to publish content, every organization is trying to get your attention. In addition, every person in the world is potentially a media channel. With this much content in the world, how is it even possible to get your word out? From the perspective of a consumer of information, how do you expect to find the stories you care about? With options and a multitude of choices, a paralysis of sorts naturally arises. As humans, we will continue to stick with a few channels that give us information. It used to be the 9 o’clock news, now it’s the twitter and Facebook feed. Do I really want these channels to curate content for me? Perhaps we need to get back to the fundamentals: For organizations: – Spread your word one person at a time, through conviction, emotion and a…

02 Nov: Power of isms, metaphors and one liners

The world is now in the attention deficit era. Tweets, Vine videos, constant bombardment of texts, notifications and GIFs have made us all crave content that is punchy, quick and delivers an emotion. Even when you try and describe something important in a meeting or in a conversation at the dinner table, if you are not entertaining and delivering your thoughts succinctly, you lose your audience. Worst yet, they whip out their smart phone and start tapping away. So what is a communicator to do?  What do we all do? Start using metaphors, and start to boil all your words down to something short and meaningful. If we start talking about branding, this is how I’ll kick off our conversation: ” Don’t attempt to express your brand, you should instead brand your expression” Wanna learn more?

01 Oct: Stories that move #1: Innovation comes in all shapes & sizes

A group of engineers were sitting in a conference room and their heads hung low, amidst walls of post it notes and scribbling on the white board. It looked like they’ve spent days in the room. And they did. They sat there wondering what was their next move. In a couple of days they will present their plan to the executive committee, and that’s also when the fate of their project will be decided. They were at their wits end. 12 months had gone by and the prototypes still did not meet their size requirements. Management had gotten wind of their side project and wanted to put an end to a distracting project but they were intrigued about what they had heard. The new implantable device would be smaller, much much smaller than anything out there. A size of a pill basically and it would power the heart. But soon, that vision will end. They would…

14 Aug: What stories teach us about change management

One of the fundamental things about any story is change. Change that is irreversible. Your characters will change, the environment will change and most importantly as a result, the emotions of your audience will also change. This is true in any great story and should also be true in any change process: an irreversible change from The Beginning to the New World Order. The idea of an irreversible change is an interesting one and you can essentially prepare for driving change in an organization using the structure of a story.   1. The Beginning The beginning context in any story is there to help the audience feel some empathy for the protagonist and gives a baseline of what the world looks like today. This empathy and context is important  because the audience needs to make an emotional connection as well as understand how everything changes throughout the story. For an…