The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell just named the Business of Story the #1 business storytelling podcast for 2022.

Hosted by Park Howell, known as the world’s most industrious storyteller, the Business of Story is ranked among the top 10% of downloaded podcasts internationally.

The goal of the show is to help sales and marketing leaders excel through the stories they tell.  Each episode brings you the brightest storytelling content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to craft and tell compelling stories that sell. #StoryOn!

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Randy Olson

#471: How to Make Your Stories Stronger by Calculating Your “But-to-And” Ratio

#471: How to Make Your Stories Stronger by Calculating Your “But-to-And” Ratio

Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Albert Einstein said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple,’”

But in the business world, we tend to over-complicate everything.

Especially our communications.

We find ourselves in “And Land.” And, and, and’ing our audiences to death-by-boredom.

Now you can test how clear, concise and compelling your communication is by using a tool developed by today’s guest, Dr. Randy Olson, my co-author of The Narrative Gym for Business.

If you don’t know Randy, he is a Harvard Evolutionary Biologist turned filmmaker, author and teacher of the ABT (And, But, Therefores) narrative framework.

For the past eight years, Randy has been using a tool called The Narrative Index to quantify the power of a particular communication by measuring the “But-to-And” ratio in its content.

He developed it to prove the power of the ABT in speeches dating back decades.

The higher the score (meaning replacing “ands” with “buts” and “therefore” to propel the narrative forward) the more compelling the communication is compared to thousands of competing speeches, articles, and presentations.


Pleasant Middelhof

#470: How to Make Your Complex Sales Simple by Exploding the View

#470: How to Make Your Complex Sales Simple by Exploding the View

Have you read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck?

I loved it. Talking about a new refreshing take on stoicism.

One of my favorite takeaways from Mark Manson’s book is that we all should aspire to manage good problems versus tackling bad ones.

But we often get overwhelmed by the bad problems that suck our energy because we wrestle with them in all of their complexity.

Today’s guest, Pleasant Middelhof, shares how to simplify complexity by exploding the view, especially in sales.

She uses the analogy of her six-year-old son, who is a huge fan of Legos, assembling a 10,296-piece Titanic set in just seven days by exploding the project to its component parts.

Pleasant explains how you can do the same thing to simplify your complex sales for both you and the buyer.



Samantha Hardcastle

#469: Story-Doing: How to Blow Away Your Customers with a Multi-Sensory Journey

#469: Story-Doing: How to Blow Away Your Customers with a Multi-Sensory Journey

Michele and I visited Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands in March 2021.

He hosted automotive dealers from around the nation and I was invited to provide a Business of Story mastery course.

Given that Sir Richard is a business storytelling icon, I was tickled to be asked.

But what really blew me away was the Fantasy Island-like experience we were treated to.

His remarkable staff anticipated every conceivable guest request. It was one of the most magical moments we had ever experienced.

But you don’t need to be an international billionaire to design these same kinds of peak moments for your customers.

Samantha Hardcastle, founder and creative director of The Storied Experience, will show you how a little creativity and ingenuity go a long way to pull off multi-sensory journeys for your customers that they will not soon forget.


Traci DeForge

#468: How to Create Powerful Testimonials Using Audio Storytelling

#468: How to Deliver More Powerful Testimonials Using Audio Storytelling

Imagine a flying pink elephant bumbling into an Amazon drone knocking open a box of assorted rubber clown noses being delivered from ACME Circus Supply.

The humorous prostheses rain down on a dog park with a red nose lodging on the snout of a feral black cat.

The spectacle wrestles a mime away from his fake wind fighting and he chuckles at the irony; the first time he has been heard from in nine years.

The airborne pachyderm trumpets from her extended proboscis and glides off.

How much would it cost to produce that TV spot?

And yet it costs you nothing to deliver that picture to the theater of the mind in your audiences when you describe the scenario.

Did you picture it?

Maybe that’s why I still do an audio-only podcast.

Because nobody wants to see me sitting there while an interesting guest is sharing their insights.

I’d rather have you picture those insights. Become part of our storytelling.

To me, that’s the power of audio storytelling. It’s much more participatory and compelling than simply delivering images via video.

I’m excited to have Traci DeForge on today’s show to share how she uses audio storytelling to create powerful testimonials and produce amazing podcasts.


Barry LaBov

#467: How to Find and Share Your Brand’s Unique Qualities in Your Storytelling

#467: How to Find and Share Your Brand’s Unique Qualities in Your Storytelling

You work to deliver your product or service and grow your brand.

But it feels like scaling your business is a real pain.

I know I’ve experienced this with The Business of Story.

Then one day someone shows up and points out a differentiating quality in you that provides a remarkable competitive edge, but you have been so busy in the trenches, in the fog of war of business, that you overlooked it?

We’ve all been there. I mean my Endodontist doesn’t perform her own root canals on herself. She brings in an expert. 

And that’s why I’m excited to have Barry LaBov, Founder & CEO of LABOV Marketing and author of The Power of Differentiation: Win Hearts, Minds and Market Share, on the show.

He will show you how to find the unique qualities that make you stand out.

The process can sometimes feel like a root canal, but oh what a relief it is when you bring your brand’s endearing attributes to life.


Rain Bennett

#466: The Secret to Six-Second Video Storytelling

#466: The Secret to Six-Second Video Storytelling

I have taken a number on the internal sales teams at The Home Depot through The Business of Story mastery course.

If you have ever taken it then you know I always start by showing them how to use the ABT (And, But, Therefore) narrative framework as the foundation to grow their storytelling skill.

In a virtual training session, one guy asked me, “What is the shortest ABT you know, Park?”

Now I realize that my answer was basically a six-second story. I told him that the shortest ABT goes like this…

“You communicate and care but bore, so tell a story.”

Ten short words that actually come in at about four seconds in the telling.

It works because it uses the three forces of story of agreement, contradiction and consequence that the primal pattern-seeking, problem-solving, decision-making buying limbic brain adores.

The ABT framework is ideal for your six-second video storytelling.

That’s why I’m excited to have Rain Bennett, author of Six Second Stories and host of the popular The Storytelling Lab podcast with us today sharing how to craft your short video stories.

It’s one thing to make your storytelling clear, concise and compelling using the ABT, but where do you find your stories?  Rain Bennet is here to show you how.


Celisa Steele

#465: The 3 Keys to Engaging Your Audience With Your Learning Content

#465: The 3 Keys to Engaging Your Audience With Your Learning Content

When you reflect on some of your favorite teachers, I bet you remember how they taught you through the stories they told.

Leroy Ashby comes to my mind. He was a remarkable history teacher at Washington State University who had students lining up to take his class because he was an incredible storyteller.

But corporate training and executive development often miss the mark because it’s dry, logic-driven drivel.

You’d rather take a meeting with your most difficult client than sit through another mundane course.

If you’re in learning development or just want to teach something important to someone, then you’re in luck because we have a brilliant training professional for you.

Celisa Steele is the co-founder and managing director of Tagoras.

Tagoras partners with professional and trade associations, continuing education units, training firms, and other learning businesses to help them to understand market realities and potential, to connect better with existing customers and find new ones, and to make smart investment decisions around product development and portfolio management.


Jonathan Gottschall

#464: The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

#464: The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

One of my favorite books that I introduce in every one of my Business of Story mastery courses is Jonathan Gottschall’s, The Storytelling Animal: Why Stories Make Us Human.

It is a fun and enlightening read about the intersection of brain structure and story structure.

I think of it like stories being the software that drives the hardware of our primal pattern-seeking, problem-solving, decision-making buying limbic brain.

The human minds yields helplessly to the suction of story.

Homo sapiens – we storytelling apes – are the only creatures we know that plan, organize and act using storytelling.

Stories are the very first technology our ancestors used to survive and thrive in the Savannah.

Stories were around before fire, agriculture, the wheel, you name it. In fact, it was probably a story, grunted or drawn out in the dirt, that led to each of these evolutionary innovations.

Stories are what we use today to navigate the onslaught of information, media and the internet.

That’s why I’m excited to bring you an interview I did with Jonathan several years ago.


Cheryl Hunter

#463: How to Use Your Personal Brand Story as a Superpower

#463: How to Use Your Personal Brand Story as a Superpower

You, like everyone, has had highs and lows in your life. These are the moments that shape who you are and inform your unique expertise the world needs to hear about.

But sharing your story, especially the unsettling dark days, is often hard because you’re afraid that people won’t respect you for what you’ve been through.

Cheryl Hunter hid her story of being abducted, abused and left for dead for years because she feared what people would think.

But it is this event in her life that has shaped her expertise as model, media personality, and personal branding coach.

Now she freely shares her story everywhere to help others find the courage to do the same.



Robert McKee

#462: How to Replace Mind-Numbing Business Rhetoric With Inspiring Storytelling

#462: How to Replace Mind-Numbing Business Rhetoric With Inspiring Storytelling

You want to inspire your people with a gripping story that paints your company’s compelling vision and mission.

But you may be losing your team because so many leaders try to coerce with rhetoric rather than cajole with a story.

Legendary Hollywood story consultant and author of Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World, Robert McKee illustrates the difference between the typical boring-2-bored business communications and the enchanting power of brand storytelling.

This is an encore replay of my interview with McKee from 2017 when he launched Storynomics. 

The beautiful thing about the timeless nature of storytelling is that his insights from this show are more relevant today than ever.