Storytelling in Business

One of my favourite hypnotists and storytellers is the New York based Doug O’Brien. He has a beautiful voice and a great way with words. He is also a musician and that may be one of his secrets. In one of his recent newsletters, he gave a great list of quotes about stories in business. Thanks Doug!

1.  “People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact it’s the other way around …”
Terry Pratchett, novelist

2.  “Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.”

Roger C. Schank

3.  “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

 An old Native American proverb

4.  The world is shaped by two things – stories told and the memories they leave behind. 

Vera Nazarian, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer

5.  “We live in a world where bad stories are told. Stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything, that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder.” 

Author Donald Miller

6.  “Social engagement begins when we share our stories…Social change happens when we agree together to change the ending.”

from The Needmore Fund: 50 Years, 50 Stories

7.  “The ability to articulate your story or that of your company is crucial to almost every phase of enterprise management. It works all along the business food chain. A great salesperson knows how to tell a story in which the product is the hero. A successful line manager can rally the team to extraordinary efforts through a story that shows how short-term sacrifice leads to long-term success. An effective CEO uses an emotional narrative about the company’s mission to attract investors and partners, to set lofty goals, and to inspire employees. Sometimes a well-crafted story can even transform a seemingly hopeless situation into an unexpected triumph.”

Peter Guber, author, American film producer & executive 

8.  “Many of the estimated 33 million PowerPoint presentations given daily in the US do not achieve their potential.  In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that bad PowerPoint presentations cost companies $252 million per day in wasted time.  Most presentations contain powerful information, but are presented with a slew of PowerPoint slides leaving the audience with a bunch of data that they have to interpret themselves.” 


9.  “Stories are not indicators, they ARE the organization.” 

David M. Boje, Professor of management at New Mexico State University 

10.  “Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” 

Dr. Howard Gardner, Prof. Harvard Univ. 

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