Annette Simmons has travelled internationally while working with government, business, religious, and educational organizations. Her ability to deliver practical, easily implemented solutions when groups were antagonistic or deadlocked has gained her an international reputation in group dynamics.

picture of annette simmons teaching a workshop

What's your story?

From our point of view, story is everything. We believe in the power of story to effect change – change hearts, minds, relationships, and move mountains. Everyone has a story to tell, and can learn to tell stories more effectively. Story is communication, and we can show you how to activate applied storytelling to enhance relationships, learning and innovation with a conference keynote, workshop, facilitation, and/or research methodology.

Conference Keynotes

Encourage conference participants to tell more stories and ask for more stories so your conference is both useful and memorable.  Storytelling is more than a communication tool. It is a powerful way to learn, remember and share wisdom, experience, theory, and culture by setting up neurological patterns that ensures today’s learning transfers into tomorrow’s application

The Story Factor

Annette Simmons shares storytelling basics and builds skills to see how all beliefs and behaviors are governed by the stories we tell and embrace. This session is full of audience participation and vibrant stories that increase spontaneous storytelling and authentic personal connections between participants, speakers and staff.

Whether gathering stories to understand, telling stories to influence or reflecting on the power of a vision story, there are three basic differences between the logic of story and the logic of facts.  Learn how to develop perceptual agility so you can see which stories are most important to future perceptions and action.  Finding and telling personal stories builds a bridge of connection that improves collaboration and creativity.

Storytelling and Collaboration

Storytelling is evolution’s survival strategy. Remember the stories you heard as a child? They explained the world and helped you discover who to trust and how to create trust. It’s the same as adults – the stories we tell and hear explain the part of the world we know best so others can see what we see and vice versa. Stories help us see a bigger picture, redefine problems, and create more sustainable solutions.

Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins – Storytelling for Sales

Before a customer buys from you, they want to know your story: Who are you? And Why are you here? Often they think they know, and it isn’t flattering.  Learn how to build a bridge of personal connection between yourself and your client(s) first, so the story of your company and product cross over stable bridge of trust rather than falling into a pit of cynicism or defensive reasoning.

Workshops

Storytelling as a collaborative process – Virtual Workshop for intact teams (max: 3 hours)

This highly interactive introduction to storytelling as a collaborative process, doubles as a fun team building experience. Learn how sharing “who I am” “why I am here” stories creates a bonding experience as participants learn how to support each other, accelerate their ability to aggregate individual stories, re-define problems, and mine apparent conflicts as a resource for more elegant solutions. Learn how to partner up, find any of six kinds of stories that improve collaboration, four sources of great stories, and how to apply the six principles of successful storytelling to improve all kinds of collaborative challenges.

events that guide emotion and meaning, storytelling is much easier.  Learn the six kinds of stories you need to tell, where to find four buckets full of personal experiences that make great stories, and six principles of successful storytelling.  All participants get the opportunity to find and tell at least one “Who I am” story by the end of the workshop.

One-day Workshop- Leadership Retreat In Person

Maximize the value of any in-person meeting (5 to 250 participants) by sharing stories that build collaboration, expand perceptions, and establishes group trust. In addition to learning about storytelling form, function and skills this day facilitates each participant to find and tell their own original Who I am / Why I am here story to build group solidarity. In addition to building skills, this process simultaneously deepens relationships, inscribes core values and inspires better collaboration between participants.

Storytelling Show – in person or virtual

Develop and produce a mission specific storytelling show featuring your own staff telling powerful true stories that illustrate the mission, values and principles of your organization. Recruit motivated staff members to participate in one-on-one coaching and group practice sessions to find and develop a set of personal stories that illustrate how you interpret your mission, values and principles in real life situations. The show can be delivered in person or virtually – as a conference starter or wrap up.

Facilitation

Leadership Retreat – What’s our Story?

A one or two day facilitated retreat that blends business issues with a rejuvenating process of attending to the stories that define the group.  Reinforce your team’s shared identity and improve communication by choosing a shared story that engages leaders, staff and customers in pursuit of shared goals. Use story finding and story telling to deepen personal connections, work on real problems, reveal real opportunities and communicate strategy.

No matter what issues you currently face, using the lens of storytelling to improve self-awareness, acknowledge gaps, reveal opportunities and pursue a meaningful future will result in deeper connections, more truth telling and values that show up in everything you do.

Value and Identity Stories

The power of rules, policy, scripts and structure are no longer as valuable for guiding behavior as they once were.  In an ambiguous and unpredictable world intentional storytelling prepares staff/constituents to interpret a wide variety of situations as opportunities to invent new ways to live out values without a script or policy manual. When blind obedience is in short supply, company values must be translated into understandable stories that maintain the spirit of your values at the same time delivering an engaging concrete example that guides creative adaptation.

Research

Narrative Inquiry

Annette has a talent for gathering stories using an interview technique that blends principles of psychology, sociology, group dynamics and traditional storytelling to elicit true, first hand, relevant, compelling stories that illustrate the hidden dynamics and storylines controlling organizational or community perceptions, interpretation routines, and core assumptions.  Provide your team with the wisdom and understanding that comes from collectively interpreting what these stories mean in terms of strategic insights, threats, opportunities, and implementation realities.

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