Storytelling for Purpose, Persuasion and Profit

Do you struggle with your message?

  • Are your employees struggling to get on board with the vision?
  • Finding it hard to attract talent?
  • Less than impressed with your last marketing effort?

Then you’re struggling with your message. 

 Most people hire an agency to solve the problem. But here’s the thing: communication is integral to who we are. You are responsible for your message – or it’s simply not your message.  Sound intimidating? Hey, I know what it’s like to write a 600-page book but struggle to write the back cover… Getting clarity can be difficult from close up!

That’s why I help you clarify your message.

    Lead with Story

    Whether you want more effective marketing and sales, or to shift organisational culture and position your company to be future fit, Storytelling can help.

    Stories are the most influential thing in the world. That’s because the structure of successful stories perfectly matches the structure of our brains. As a novelist, I have studied story structure for fifteen years and love bringing this knowledge to bear on a strategic communications challenge.

    Leaders give direction, inspire and align employees with a vision story. They instill a sense of collegiality and purpose with values stories and ensure their people are oriented and equipped with teaching stories.
    They allay fears by reframing the story, secure funding and negotiate deals, creating a shared story. They turn customers into fans by entering their story and ultimately build a brand: a story incarnate.
    Leaders tell stories.
    I help leaders tell their story.

    “Every great leader is a great storyteller … Stories are the single most powerful tool in a leader’s toolkit.”

    - Howard Gardner, Harvard psychologist and author, Leading Minds

    The Story behind Storytelling

    The first time I heard about “storytelling” was in 2007.  I was eighteen years old and had just published my first novel.  Despite being a professional writer, I dismissed storytelling as naïve nonsense – entertainment for otherwise dull presentations, but nothing of inherent value to an organisation.

    Then, reading biographies, I realised that whether a person is successful or not depends to a large degree on their inner narrative . . . the story they tell themselves.  In my travels, I witnessed a similar principle playing out on a much larger scale: the contrast between Singapore and Zimbabwe shows that a nation’s narratives are more important than its resources.  If narratives are so important for individuals as well as for entire cultures, why not for organisations?

    In 2015, I was invited to Geneva as a Fellow of the GCSP (Geneva Centre for Security Policy).  As their Novelist in Residence, I contributed to executive development courses such as Creative Diplomacy.  By then, I had come to the same conclusion as Plato: Whoever the leaders may appear to be, “those who tell the stories rule society.”

    Why is Story so powerful?

    Stories make sense of our world; they can reframe complexity to bring clarity

    We are hardwired to pay attention to stories. Instead of costing us concentration, a finite resource, stories are rejuvenating

    The brain is an experience simulator. This can create an emotional bond to your audience: the Trojan horse for persuasion

    When you tell it well, your story becomes their story. People are up to 20x more likely to remember your message – and act on it

    The story sets the context for everything we do.
    In an ocean of information, story is the surfboard that lets you master the waves.

    You can harness Storytelling

    Personally: turn weaknesses into strengths by reframing your story.

    Organizationally: galvanise your employees with Story.  Align teams with your values, vision, mission and best practices.  Implement strategy by organising your strengths into a narrative that is compelling for all stakeholders, multiplying profitability and impact.

    Chances are you could profit from storytelling methodologies in some of the following areas:

    • Leadership
    • Organisational Culture Development
    • Branding
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Creative thinking
    • Problem solving & troubleshooting
    • Change management
    • Negotiations
    • Team building
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Values
    • Vision
    • Futures thinking/scenario planning
    • Strategy

    Every organisation has stories –

    tacit explanations that impact organisational culture.

    Are yours helping or hindering you?

    Story Solutions

    Basic Storytelling Workshop

    Are your key people equipped with narrative competence? Storytelling is an essential business skill for meetings and presentations. A half day introduction.

    * Why stories work
    * When to use stories, where to find them and how to tell them
    * Quickly establish trust and build momentum

    Team Building Workshop

    Are your people on the same page? Are they telling the same story? Are they even living in the same universe?

    * Identify your organisation's story and the various players' roles
    * A fun approach to improving communication
    * Replace inner narratives that hold us back with stories that empower

    Branding and Sales Workshop

    Are your customers getting mixed signals? Streamline your message and turbo-charge your sales team.

    * Why 99% websites have a poor conversion rate
    * What customers really buy (hint: it’s not the best product!)
    * How to involve your customer in your organisation's story

    Custom Workshop

    What's your story? I always love to go deep. Let's talk about tailoring a workshop that specifically meets your particular needs.

    Writer & Editor

    Need help with your book? Having contributed to and edited several, fiction and non-fiction, I am open for the occasional partner project

    Story Coach

    Need help putting it all into practice? Need more practice? Practice alone is good, but coached practice is better. You can invite me to coach you or consult on a project

    How does it work?

    Step 1: Assessment 
    Schedule a free 30 minute coaching. 
    Tell me your challenges and learn how storytelling can help you.

    Step 2: Knowledge Transfer

    According to your need, I come and coach individuals or groups.
    Workshops are interactive and there is an emphasis of putting theory into practice.

    Step 3: Implementation

    It’s not a magic bullet. It’s a new skill set. Like every skill, it must be put into practice.
    Sessions leave you with everything you need to start your journey to narrative competence. I remain available to guide you on the journey – until the results show.

    Drop me a line to find out how storytelling can improve well-being and performance in your personal development, organisation or nation.

    Storytelling Workshop at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland