Julienne Ryan

#459: How to Win Against Digital Distraction With Your Storytelling

#459: How to Win Against Digital Distraction With Your Storytelling

Do you remember the campy TV series from the 1960’s called Lost In Space?

When I was interviewing Organizational Storyteller and humorist, Julienne Ryan, for this week’s episode on winning against digital distraction, I couldn’t help but think of the corny robotic dialogue on that show.

So I had fun with the opening of this podcast featuring the confrontation between the main robot and its arch-villain Robotoid, because it reminded me of so many of the corporate meetings I’ve experienced.

Plus, I knew our guest would appreciate the humor and the point it makes about humanizing your communications to overcome digital distraction and the destruction it reaps.

Julienne Ryan grew up in Queens having three communication choices: be funny, fight, or run really fast.

She is author of the popular I Learned-it-in-Queens Communications Playbook, a book that teaches how to win the day against digital distraction. Julienne is organizational storyteller, keynote speaker, and soft-skills trainer.

She thanks the faculty at Manhattan College where she received her BA in Psychology & Urban Studies and Teachers College at Columbia University where she earned her MA in Organizational and Development Leadership for helping her become a sought-after coach and facilitator.

She collaborates with motivated managers who recognize their teams have unrealized potential and want to help them get out of their own way.

They understand that effective communication habits are a wellness exercise that will take their teams’ working relationships from “STUCK” to “PRODUCTIVE.”

Today you’ll learn some of her eight steps to overcoming current communication-mutant challenges spawned by the digital universe we all float around in.

She believes that our best stories are hiding in plain sight. We just have to learn how to listen for them and learn how to appreciate them. So let’s start revealing some of those stories right now with Julianne Ryan.

Discussed in this episode:

  1. Start small and find common ground to build trust and engage in meaningful conversations.
  2. Soft skills, such as communication and storytelling, are essential for success.
  3. Authenticity and listening are key elements of effective storytelling.
  4. Taking a pause and giving space for others to share can lead to meaningful connections. 
  5. Judgment and biases can hinder effective communication, and it’s important to be aware of them.
  6. Sharing a meal can create a relaxed and open environment for meaningful conversation and connection.


  • 00:00 Introduction and Background
  • 01:31 Starting Small and Building Trust
  • 06:01 Julianne’s Journey and the Value of Storytelling
  • 08:05 Using Storytelling in Professional Development
  • 10:20 Storytelling Exercises and the Role of Food
  • 12:09 The Science and Trust Building of Storytelling
  • 16:08 The Ancient and Universal Nature of Storytelling
  • 19:31 The Importance of Authenticity
  • 21:26 The Power of Listening in Storytelling
  • 23:01 Finding the Rhythm of the Conversation
  • 24:19 The Power of Pausing and Allowing for Silence
  • 25:57 Taking a Breath and Being Present in Conversations
  • 28:10 Overcoming Judgment and Biases in Communication
  • 41:36 The Role of Sharing a Meal in Building Connections



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