Dan Heath

#442: Why the Best Storytellers are Slow and Curious

#442: Why the Best Storytellers are Slow and Curious

The one thing I hear all of the time when I’m teaching and coaching our Business of Story mastery course is this:

“Park, I’m not a good storyteller, I don’t have any good stories to tell, and besides, no one wants to hear my story.”

Is this you?

Are you using this popular triumvirate of excuses as to why you’re not sharing your stories?

Today’s guest demonstrates that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has important and interesting stories that people want to hear.

Dan Heath is a four-time New York Times bestselling author. His books — which include Switch, Made to Stick, and The Power of Moments — have sold over four million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages.

Dan launched a new podcast in October 2023 called “What It’s Like to Be…”. In every episode, Dan profiles someone from a different profession (such as MYSTERY NOVELIST, HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, and STADIUM BEER VENDOR).

The show hits Apple’s Top 25 Society & Culture podcast lists in its first week. Dan is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who are fighting for social good. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

The podcast wonders: What do people in different professions do all day at work? (See here for the podcast’s origin story and the value of “slow curiosity.”) So far Dan’s featured six professions:

  1. A Stadium Beer Vendor: How do you handle fans who are alcoholics?
  2. A Couples Therapist: What’s the most popular activity that helps struggling couples?
  3. A Criminal Defense Attorney: What are we all getting wrong about “Miranda Rights”?
  4. A TV Meteorologist: How do you deal with fans … and stalkers?
  5. A Forensic Accountant: What are the telltale signs that people are committing fraud?
  6. A Mystery Novelist: Could Tylenol actually be a murder weapon?

Discussed in this episode:

  1. The five elements that make an idea stick.
  2. The power of moments.
  3. Why dumb quests are your best answer to following your curiosity.
  4. The inspiration behind Dan’s new podcast, What It’s Like…


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