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Learn to Make the Business Case for Storytelling

Storytelling Audio-1

Strategic Leaders Wake-Up Call: Pricing Workshop in Cleveland

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Storytelling for Leaders: Fall Dates Announced

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I realized the importance of having a story today is what really separates companies. People don’t just wear our shoes, they tell our story.

— Blake Mycoskie
CEO, Tom’s Shoes

Your chance to attend a Storytelling for Leaders public workshop in the United States has arrived. Register for the date and location that works best for you.

September 15 in Las Vegas

October 2 in Charlotte

October 16 in New York City

October 27 in Boston

November 17 in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Make the Case for Storytelling

tumblr_n0hq0nxdQd1st5lhmo1_1280 You don’t need to tell a communicator: storytelling works. The best communicators know that true emotional connection can only be made through stories.

But try persuading a stubborn executive, a reluctant leader, a timid manager, an overwhelmed salesperson, or an analytical accountant, and you will have a hard time making them budge.

In this free 30-minute audio training, learn to make the business case for storytelling to even the most skeptical audiences.

When communications becomes a responsibility shared by the communications department and executives alike, you’ll find that change is smoother, employees are more engaged, strategy is understood, and the pace is quickened.

This audio training will help you create an organization full of story-vangelists.

 

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Workshop for Communicators in Cleveland on June 24

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On Tuesday, June 24 I will be the lunchtime guest of IABC Cleveland to discuss storytelling’s role in assisting with change management and cultural transformations, as well as reducing complexity.

Details and registration are available on the chapter’s website.

Story + Strategy Workshop in Cleveland on June 24

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Connected Networking Works

This morning, while searching my email archives for an address, I came across a message from 2011 that illustrates just one of my many personal successes with business networking:

Dear friends.

In many ways, a modern professional is only as good as her network.

During my recent international job hunt, my network surprised and
delighted me with its strength and reach. The kindness you offered —
perhaps solely on the recommendation of a connection two, three or
more times removed — will be repaid many times over.  My
long-standing commitment to assist others with  job search advice,
resume forwards, tips about unpublished openings, etc. was reconfirmed
as a result of your benevolence.

I’ve safely landed in the UK and accomplished my goal of securing a
corporate communications position with a large global company prior to
my arrival .  This week I started at SAP, where I am
[guiding employee and executive]communications
for the EMEA region.

Thank you again for your assistance.  And rest assured that with me in
your network, you will always have somewhere to turn for support!

Best,
Amanda

This note is proof that I believe in the power of business networking. In fact, I landed every job on my career path, and every consulting client as well, by business networking in a way that I call Connected Networking.

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You can, too. An article just posted on SimplyHired features an interview about using Connected Networking to aid your career. In it, I share non-obnoxious ways to keep your job search on your network’s radar.

SimplyHired recently made me an expert contributor to their blog on corporate culture, change management, employee engagement, and business networking topics, so expect to see more from me. If you can’t wait for the next post, then download a free copy of  my Fool-Proof Guide to Jumpstarting Your Transformation into a Person of Influence.

Have I Got a Story to Tell You…

Actually, that’s the worst way to start a story. The first rule of storytelling is: never say the “s word”.

As a communicator who has operated in many buttoned-up business settings, I’ve often been tasked with creating inspirational messaging that resonates with key stakeholders.  Intuitively I knew the best way to connect with the audience, and thus change their minds, motivate their actions, and influence their decisions, was by touching their hearts with a poignant story. Yet I struggled to draw stories out of many leaders.

Try as I might, executives and managers resisted my efforts. Perhaps it was fear of appearing vulnerable or unprofessional, or perhaps it was performance anxiety, but storytelling was not on the table. Many times, the best I could get out of them was a generalized example, or perhaps an analogy. Neither of those are stories, and neither of them pack the emotional punch I sought (nor the full results they intended).

Earlier this year I was having a quick pub dinner with my husband when he received a work call. I used the interruption to open Twitter and there I found a retweet that caught my eye:

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I had no idea what expertise Shawn had, but I’m always open to networking opportunities. A quick click of Shawn’s Twitter bio and Anecdote’s website, followed by a Twitter conversation, which turned into an email conversation, and led to a meeting in New York City, then two week later, I was in Los Angeles to experience Storytelling for Leaders myself. I was immediately hooked by the idea that it was possible to incorporate pointed, strategic stories into any business environment.

This isn’t acting lessons – no Shakespeare or fables here. This is storytelling for leaders. A leader is anyone who needs to influence, engage and inspire people. That’s pretty much all of us.

Now I’m thrilled to announce that I am Anecdote’s first partner in the U.S. who will be certified to deliver Storytelling for Leaders program. If you want to learn more about bringing this program to your company, contact me.

The program itself is much more than a one-day workshop. Not only do participants learn how to spot, tell, and trigger stories, they also practice their story telling technique through a deliberate practice program that encourages behavior change and reinforces learning by engaging the workshop participants for six months after the workshop. The results are that minds will be opened, patterns will be broken, and change will occur. It can’t be helped. That’s the power of story.

Storytelling for Leaders

Influence without relying on authority.

Build fast rapport.

Change minds and inspire action.

Anecdote’s Storytelling for Leaders program will teach you the techniques you need to better influence, engage and inspire others – just as hundreds of leaders already have, from Melbourne to New York, London to Singapore.

Organizations are changing quickly. Structures are flatter and reporting lines more complex. Staff and customers are spread around the world. And everyone is deafened by the ‘noise’ of information inundation. Yet the modern leader still needs to be able to influence and persuade in this constantly fluid environment.

The sharing of stories orally is a powerful way of cutting through. When we tell stories, people ‘get’ what we are saying – and they remember it. This is the case whether we are communicating informally (which is what we do most of the time) or in a more formal environment such as a presentation.

“Other presentations were dry and heavy, but the Yammer presentations really stood out because we were telling stories versus merely sharing data.” A Storytelling for Leaders participant describes the way storytelling changed her presentations. Click here to hear more.

More than just storytelling

Storytelling for Leaders will teach you a systematic method for becoming a better, more confident storyteller. However, the program goes further. You will also learn how to use the magic of stories to get more from others:

  • Story-triggering involves a leader doing something remarkable enough that it inspires people in the organization to recount what happened. We show you how you can do this successfully.
  • Story-listening is the art of getting others to share stories. You’ll learn how to elicit stories from others, building stronger connections and gaining a better understanding of what’s really happening.

More than a workshop

Storytelling for Leaders is not a one-off workshop but a complete six-month program. It includes:

  • A full one-day workshop. The workshop is highly interactive as we strongly believe in the power of practical activities to foster learning. Throughout the day you will engage in hands-on activities designed to build your storytelling skills and confidence. See the workshop in action here.
  • Our unique Deliberate Practice Program (DPP). This workplace-based program includes six modules, spread over six months, which will embed and enhance what was learned in the workshop. Most of the learning you do will occur during in the workplace, during the DPP, rather than in the workshop.

The Deliberate Practice Program includes online support, with the opportunity to ask questions and share your experiences at any time.

“The workshop covered a lot of territory in a way that combined analytical rigor with a clear and informal delivery. I recommend it without reservation.”

Who should attend?

Storytelling for Leaders is beneficial to anyone whose role requires them to influence, engage and inspire others. Previous participants have included senior leaders, project managers, salespeople, consultants and trainers.

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