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The Storyteller's Secret

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Question: If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many pictures is a video worth? A lot. We live in a video world. More than 1.3 billion people use YouTube. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. The total number of hours of video watched every month? 3.25 billion. And video isn’t just for personal use. More than 9% of U.S. small businesses use YouTube. “Business leaders are increasingly relying on video to disseminate…

Mark Burnett arrived in Los Angeles on October 18, 1982 with no job, no place to live, and less than $300.   “A working-class kid from London’s East End with no return ticket,” writes Carmine Gallo in The Storyteller’s Secret.  Mark’s friend Nick picked him up at LAX and brought some good news: a family in Beverly Hills was looking for a nanny.  Mark had an interview that night. The only problem? Male nannies were rare in…

1: Every time Sara Blakely put on white pants that hung in her closet, she didn’t like what she saw in the mirror.  Traditional women’s undergarments didn’t help.  They felt “uncomfortable and unsightly,” Carmine Gallo writes in The Storyteller’s Secret. Then, inspiration struck.  Sara got out a pair of scissors and cut the feet from a pair of pantyhose.   Voila.  Problem solved. Sara was selling fax machines door-to-door at the time.  She had never taken a business…

1: Pope Francis has spoken to some of the largest audiences in history.  In July 2013, he spoke to more than 3 million people on the beach in Rio.  Only to outdo himself two years later during his visit to the Philippines where he spoke to a crowd of 6 million people, Carmine Gallo shares in The Storyteller’s Secret. No matter how large the audience, Francis often relies on one of the oldest and most powerful rules…

1: The date was June 4, 1940.  Nazi Germany was on the verge of victory over France.  The situation was desperate.  Prime Minister Winston Churchill had to prepare the British people for a momentous challenge ahead. “We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We…

“Show me an MBA and your sales numbers, that’s fine. But tell me a great story about how you got started and your vision, and we’ll talk.” —Barbara Corcoran, Shark Tank 1: Bryan Stevenson  was nine and playing with his cousins.  A small gesture was about to set him on his path to becoming a prominent civil rights attorney, Carmine Gallo writes in his book The Storyteller’s Secret.   Bryan’s grandmother pulled him aside and said, “Bryan, I’m…

1: Adam Levine struggled in school.  He “found it impossible to sit still, stay focused, or finish his schoolwork.  He was hyperactive and impulsive,” Carmine Gallo writes in The Storyteller’s Secret. Years later, as an aspiring musician, he continued to have trouble focusing – not in class, but in the studio. “I had 30 ideas floating through my mind and just couldn’t document them… When I can’t pay attention, I really can’t pay attention,” Adam…

1: One of the biggest mistakes we make as presenters is being overly complicated and sharing too much information. “Any fool can make something complicated. It’s hard to make something simple,” says Virgin founder Richard Branson in Carmine Gallo’s The Storyteller’s Secret.   “From the beginning, Virgin used clear, ordinary language,” Richard recalls. “If I could quickly understand a campaign concept, it was good to go. If something can’t be explained on the back of an…

1: Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk has been viewed over 71 million times making it the most viewed talk in TED’s 30-year history. Wow. How our educational system kills creativity is “certainly a topic of popular interest,” Carmine Gallo observes in his book The Storyteller’s Secret.  Yet, this alone does not explain its popularity. “What does explain it?” asks Carmine. “If they’re laughing, they’re listening,” says Sir Ken. In the first five minutes of his…

1: A standing ovation following a TED talk is a rare occurrence. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield had the TED audience on their feet after his 2014 talk “What I learned from going blind in space.”   The critical moment of Chris’s story? When his eyes slammed shut in the middle of a space walk while his spaceship was traveling around the world at five miles per second, Carmine Gallo shares in his riveting book The Storyteller’s Secret. 2: Chris’…

Elon Musk is wicked smart. “But when he explains technology to consumers he uses language even a sixth-grader can read,” observes Carmine Gallo in his book The Storyteller’s Secret. “Welcome everyone to the announcement of Tesla Energy. What I’m going to talk about tonight is a fundamental transformation of how the world works, about how energy is delivered across Earth,” Elon Musk began his remarks about Tesla’s new Powerwall offering. “This is how it is…

It’s not what we think. “Short words are best,” said Sir Winston. “The shorter words of a language are usually the more ancient,” Winston is quoted as saying in The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo.  “Their meaning is more ingrained in the national character and they appeal to greater force.” The manuscripts of Winston’s speeches show crossed-out longer words replaced with short ones. “Liberated” became “freed.” Take note of Winston’s famous observation about the British fighter pilots…

Winston Churchill was 29 years old.  He was a newly elected representative to the House of Commons.  The year was 1911.  His talk started off fine.  But then he experienced a moment we all fear in front of a large group: He forgot the rest of his speech.  For three long minutes he stood frozen in front of his new colleagues, Carmine Gallo writes in his book The Storytellers Secret. Winston heard the snickering and laughter…

1: “One day in 1966, two men met for drinks at the hotel’s bar. One was a Texas businessman; the other a chain-smoking, whiskey-swigging lawyer, writes Carmine Gallo in The Storytellers Secret.  “Herb Kelleher and Rollin King had been kicking around a business plan, which they now sketched out on the back of a cocktail napkin. First, one of the men drew a triangle in the center of the napkin.  At the top of the triangle, they…

1: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 started out like just another normal day. A 15-year old school girl boarded a rickety covered truck and three benches in the back.  The “school bus” made its way down a muddy road.  Suddenly it stopped.  Two masked men came aboard.  One of them pulled out a Colt .45 and fired three shots at the girl, one of which hit her in her left eye, Carmine Gallo recounts in his book, The Storyteller’s Secret.…

1: “Growing up in the hot Las Vegas desert, all I wanted was to be free,” so begins Amy Purdy’s story. The day after graduating high school, Amy moved to the mountains in Utah where she pursued her passion for snowboarding. “For the first time in my life I felt free, independent, and completely in control of my life…” Until she wasn’t. This week we are learning how to tell powerful stories as outlined by…

“100,000 years ago, we started developing our language,” David JP Phillips says from the Tedx stage.  “We started using storytelling to transfer knowledge from generation to generation. “27,000 years ago, we started transferring knowledge from generation to generation through cave paintings. “3,500 years ago, we started transferring knowledge from generation to generation through text. “28 years ago, PowerPoint was born. “Which one do you think our brain is mostly adapted to?” David asks. Short answer? Our…

David JP Phillips gets the call. He’s invited to come to Stockholm by a woman who represents one of the biggest training companies in Scandinavia. David is a speaker and trainer and she tells him they are interested in hiring him to train their trainers. “We think you are a perfect pick. Would you like to come to a meeting?” she asks. “Wow! I’m honored, I’d love to,” he recalls in his Tedx talk . On…