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Exercise in Empathy

Anna Deavere Smith is a wonderful actor who “performs” stories by taking on the personality of the original teller. She brings people from Studs Terkel’s collections back to life and takes her audiences on a tour .  Here she is pitching a workshop on Empathy but this little clip reminded me how to really pay attention and I thought it might be

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Annette Simmons

Four Ways to Find Your Story

In the beginning, finding good stories is difficult. If only because your brain keeps saying, “I can’t tell stories.” or “I’m not a storyteller.” Trust me; if you are breathing you tell stories. The problem is that on a bad day, our stories are about being stressed out (who I am) barely surviving stupid decisions

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Lean In! Stories about Women and the Will to Lead

I want to talk about Sheryl Sandberg and her new book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” I share her story and a few stories of my own in this video. I believe that along with storytelling tips, sending you videos like this will help develop your storytelling talents by reminding you

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Do a magic trick

If you want a story that will “make them see” once and for all, that you are right, you have missed the point.  There are many points of view, you look at mine and I might be willing to look at yours.  But if you over control a story, it makes you very boring and

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Do a magic trick

If you want a story that will “make them see” once and for all, that you are right, you have missed the point.  There are many points of view, you look at mine and I might be willing to look at yours.  But if you over control a story, it makes you very boring and

Read More »

Popular Posts

Storyteller’s Confession: My Secret Mission

I’ve been trying to infiltrate the halls of power for decades. My secret mission is to increase the diversity of thought by teaching those without a voice how to tell their stories and by teaching leaders how to find and retell stories that broaden everyone’s understanding.

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 8 of 8

We need a Magic School for Storytellers Thirty years before J. K. Rowling created Harry Potter, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series imagined a magic school that taught apprentice sorcerers how to avoid abusing the power of magic. Le Guin points out early in the series that “even to light a candle is to cast a

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 7 of 8

Truth in Storytelling When I wrote the first edition of The Story Factor twenty years ago, I began with the idea that people don’t want more information. They want faith in you and your positive intentions. I never suspected that two decades later we’d be discussing an explosion of stories that intentionally undermine this faith. Without

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 6 of 8

The Moral Dilemmas of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man Frank Baum’s original introduction to The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900, made it clear that he felt children no longer needed the stereotypical “old-time fairy tale” that “may now be classed as ‘historical’ in the children’s library.” Baum claimed the time had

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 5 of 8

  Blueprints for Building Trust Learning to drive was fun until I hit the mailbox. I burst into tears, blaming my dad, “You told me not to brake when turning corners!” It wasn’t my fault that he neglected to clarify I should brake before turning the corner so I could release the brakes while turning

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