[Video] On Storytelling

While my brain thinks mostly in bullet points, I’ve learned to appreciate that stories have their place. Only if you can make other people feel what you want them to, you get their full attention. In this episode, I share some thoughts about storytelling and my takeaways from two key presentations during my last day at GLC. Enjoy!

Video Transcript

Today’s the last day of GLC for me. The morning sessions are just about to start, I’m headed over there. I’m flying out at 6 p.m. today, I’m going to be here till about 4:00 and then head over to the airport and fly back to Frankfurt.

This first session that I’m headed to is called “Blockchain: a values-based proposition”. So I’m interested to see how they explain the concept of the blockchain and how it can change society. I’m guessing it will be pretty popular based on the amount of people that have asked me about blockchain in the last couple days.

Blockchain: a values-based proposition (talk excerpt)

To start, I’d like to talk about blockchain, the entire economy as an iceberg. Meaning that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are but the tip of the iceberg. And it’s just one of the many applications of the blockchain protocol. Very, very few people, maybe less than 5%, will actually learn the language of the protocol and build platforms and applications for corporate and consumer use. These are your computer programmers, otherwise generally known as the Nerds.

You have platforms of support applications such as crypto built by the Nerds but made useful to the masses by CEOs. That’s where I suspect most of you will be.

Stop marketing like it’s 1999 (talk excerpt)

So the second session is on “Stop marketing like it’s 1999”.

And I just heard this guy yell for pretty much an hour and a lot of clapping at the end. So I got interested and decided to come over here for the second session.

Please help me welcome with a warm EO welcome Nicholas Kusmich!

…I went into the adjacent room which happened to be a bedroom converted into an office. Now there, I would work away at my Ikea birch corner desk. Everyone knows what desk I’m talking about? How many people in here at one point in their life owned an Ikea desk? How many people still own an Ikea desk? Oh, yeah! Represent everywhere in the world… Once you have the good content or the right content that needs to be seen and heard, how do we get the right eyes and the right ears to see and hear that content? Because what good is great messaging if nobody hears it?

Key takeaways from the talk from people in the audience

In one sentence, what did you guys learn?

  1. “Personal marketing is definitely something to get into for every business owner”.
  2. “Creating value through creating content, or giving before you’re asking”.

Hiring tip from Andres (EO Greek chapter): Video applications

Another great side effect of doing these videos and sharing what my current processes look like and my current ideas look like, is I also get very valuable feedback. So this was not the first instance but it was a very valuable tip that Andres from the Greece chapter who I’ve connected with last summer, just came up to me and said he watched my video on hiring and recruiting and had an extremely valuable tip for me and see right here what he said:

So what we do is when someone applies, we ask them to send a short video. Thirty seconds explaining who they are and why they want to apply at our company. And that helps us have people self-select themselves. A) They need to be interested enough to apply, and B) we get a feel for who that person is. And it’s much easier to qualify for us in the tracking system.

I think that’s a great idea. Yeah, we should definitely try that, to add that to our content. So thanks for sharing.

Wrapping up today’s presentations

So this afternoon is the closing sessions on the chapter tracks. I have a couple more meetings with people I have been trying to get in touch with but what we realize is when there are 1400 people, it’s kind of hard to just meet.

Three hours from now, I’m already headed to the airport. So these presentations this morning were super interesting. I went to one about blockchain. Didn’t really get the title but I think what she was talking about was pretty accurate, covered the basics of what blockchain is, what a cryptocurrency is and how it all fits together. She touched upon some interesting opportunities for how blockchain can make our lives better or more interesting, or more fair, more balanced.

And in the second presentation, I went to was called “Don’t do marketing like it’s 1999”. The first talk was in the room right next to where this guy was talking and he was just yelling the whole time. When I got there, it became clear that he had been a pastor previously in his life and that’s the way he talked. He was a genius at telling stories. Content-wise it was not that much new stuff. He talked about how important Facebook advertising is in today’s world and what capabilities it gives you to reach your audience. What I did really like was the way he packaged that and the way he told his story.

My take on storytelling

And so I wanted to share some thoughts on storytelling based on this experience and then also based on the fact that I know I’m not great at it yet and it’s something that I want to improve on. But for me, that used to be news. Not too long ago, I discovered that people get so much more engaged when you start with an actual story. Something happened to you, something that changed you, something that impacted your life.

Don’t talk about theory, talk about something that you’ve gone through, something that has impacted you, talk about your life. The second concept that I try to incorporate is Setup, Conflict, Resolution. And while I’m definitely not succeeding in a hundred percent of the cases yet, that’s also kind of the storyline that I try to follow when I set up the vlogs and when I try to come up with the story for these videos.

A storytelling framework: Setup, Conflict, Resolution

The one thing I want to share from this video is Setup, Conflict, Resolution. I think it’s a good framework to tell anything or to transfer any kind of story. And then also I’m just asking, like, if anyone has good tips and books, videos, tutorials or other resources that they follow to become better at storytelling and become more conscious of how they communicate, then please share it in the comments or share it with me directly and I’ll mention it in the following episode.

As always, like Andres, please reach out to me if you see things for the way I do, things that can be improved or just want to challenge them. I’m extremely open to that and looking forward to your questions.

You can listen to the audio version here: