Rookie Storytelling Mistakes

I blog often – and the world is in enthusiastic agreement – about the need to tell stories to get attention and be remembered. And I often talk about the five fundamental stories: the Quest that Hollywood knows so well, and the four others that are just as fundamental to our thinking: Stranger in a […]

Should a Speaker Tell Stories about her Speaking in her Speeches?

Movies about movies rarely succeed, just as theatre about theatre usually falls flat. Industry insiders love them, and so they keep getting performed and filmed, but the general public doesn’t embrace them as a rule. Noises Off, which is my personal choice for the funniest movie of all time, a movie about a play about […]

Don’t Let Your Audiences Be Passive!

People don’t like to be passive.  They don’t like to sit still and do nothing.  They’d even rather shock themselves repeatedly than just sit and think, according to a study recently published in Science. The study received a fair amount of press attention, possibly because it harkened back to the infamous Milgram study from many […]

Storytelling, Framing, and Memory

We expect powerful people to give us the overview, the high-level view.  Specifically, a recent study found, we rate people as more powerful when they speak in abstract terms (9/11 was a terrible terrorist attack), rather than specifics (more than 3,000 people died). More generally, previous studies have shown that people learn new things using […]

Seven Ways to Enchant an Audience

How can you go beyond the usual efforts to create a successful presentation – and enchant the audience?  What are the secrets to creating magic with a speech?  Here are seven ways to take your speech beyond the ordinary.  Some of these will be familiar to you, but I’m guessing that at least one will […]