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Category: Storytelling Workshops

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Grading Out the Storytelling for a New York Times Job Description

I am an unabashed cheerleader for The New York Times. For those who have the stamina to read more than 10 words at a time, it’s trustworthy. For those in the communications business of constructing non-fiction storytelling, the Times offers daily lessons. In fact, you’ll find some of the best journalist storytelling on the planet …more

Visual Storytelling from The New Yorker; Up a Creek without a Paddle

I’ve advocated for the use of illustration in communications for some time. No matter how outrageous the subject matter, illustration can bring it to life. For my money, the best illustrations can be found on the covers of The New Yorker, but the publication might have outdone itself with the August 28 cover art, worthy …more

Who Moved My Story?

After conducting our storytelling workshop over the years, a certain theme has emerged. By the close of the workshop, participants buy into the concepts. They then jump back into their jobs with renewed determination to communicate with conversational language and a show-don’t-tell attitude only to run into that visible force called stakeholder approval. We continually …more

Time for Communicators to Deviate from the Status Quo

I’ll be in Portland on April 12 talking at an IABC Oregon luncheon. I plan to use the occasion to explore whether communicators are changing fast enough. The velocity of change in today’s world can be unnerving. Cars that drive themselves. Bursts of 140-character missives that impact the Presidential election. A startup trying to invent …more

Anecdote Takes Center Stage in a National News Story

That’s exactly what happened last week when CNN covered President Obama’s intention to veto the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to Mexico. Check out the headline. “Meet the pen Obama used to veto the Keystone XL pipeline.” Obviously, the focus of the story lies on a Presidential decision. Yet,  the pen …more

Contrast as a Storytelling Technique in Business Communications

In conducting our storytelling workshops, the concept of contrast is one technique that always resonates with participants. I think of contrast as a poor man’s failure. Several posts have highlighted the power of failure in lifting a narrative, but most companies won’t go there. When was the last time a CEO barked “OK, let’s focus …more

Six Narratives That Make up My Leave-behind Pack for Storytelling Workshops

One of the best parts of my job involves conducting storytelling workshops. It’s both fun and satisfying to help participants connect the dots to a simple premise: Given a choice between “interesting” and “dull,” human beings pick “interesting” virtually every time. I’m constantly refining the package shared with participants in our workshops for business storytelling. …more

My Go-to Leave-behind Package for Storytelling Workshops

I love sharing the storytelling gospel through our workshops. It’s both fun and satisfying to see the dots connect in how storytelling techniques can be applied to any type of communications coming from an organization. When I say “any,” I mean communications ranging from job descriptions to Twitter to PR to the reply triggered from …more