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Cartman’s storytelling secret that every CMO should steal

I teach business storytelling workshops around the country and in the new Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership program at Arizona State University, and the impact these newly story-empowered executives have when they use narrative to communicate data is profound. But my students’ greatest obstacle is finding where to start in the story process. Therefore, I have them begin with the And, But and Therefore (ABT) method: a simple formula that I call the DNA of all stories. Harvard Ph.D.-turned-USC film…


9 steps to turning a negative behavior into a positive story

I have always been a big fan of The Fun Theory by Volkswagen. It was a brilliant social initiative, created for the German automaker by DDB. It must’ve been difficult (read expensive) to pull off every year, because they are no longer running it. What a shame. Through The Fun Theory, Volkswagen turned mundane, but socially good, experiences – like recycling or taking the stairs instead of the escalator – into positive stories that everyday folks could play a role in.…

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Infographic: Storytelling vs Corporate Speak

It’s not rocket science. It’s brain science. Storytelling is how we’re hardwired to understand the world. And anyone can tell compelling stories. So turn your jargon into journeys, your info lists into lore, and your stats into stories. Here’s a great infographic from the Hoffman Agency to illustrate the difference between data and drama. The Hoffman Agency is a public relations firm that emphasizes storytelling in business communication.

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Survival of the fittest storyteller: How stories insure our sustainability

What is the primary function of our brain? Survival. The oldest portion of our noggin – the brain stem – is our “Reptilian Brain.” It triggers our most basal instincts of fight or flight. Survival! Our inner brains began to evolve about 300 to 400 million years ago. We call this our limbic brain, which primarily handles emotion and memory. It’s easiest to remember the limbic brain’s function by the four “F’s” of SURVIVAL: Feeding, fighting, fleeing and fornication (Sexual reproduction).…

Echo and Narcissus (1903), a Pre-Raphaelite interpretation by John William Waterhouse

Didn’t the ancient Greeks warn us about posting selfies?

We tell each other stories for no other reason than to make sense out of the chaos of being alive. And we, of course, love to be at the center of the stories we tell. Just look at the social phenomena of the “selfie,” those self-taken pics that populate Facebook and Instagram like Chickenpox on a toddler. I’m in the throes of finalizing my new book on brand storytelling called, Story Built: How to Craft Spellbinding Brand Stories to Create Epic…

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