Quick Dispatches from the Story World

Even at my most consistent and prolific on this blog, I wasn’t great at one of the features that distinguishes blogs – presenting new information on the blog’s topic quickly, being among the first to disseminate news.

As I duck in to make one of my (very ) sporadic appearances, I present a few items that aren’t exactly brand-spanking new but are somewhat recent:

On Facebook, I came across a site I hadn’t heard of before, StoriesSellTellYoursWell.com. I wasn’t exactly enamored of the title as selling is not my favorite use of story, and I didn’t like the way a video instantly played when I visited the site. Worse, I couldn’t get into the site without entering my name and email. I beat a hasty retreat. But then I learned that Madelyn Blair*, whom I great admire and respect, was among the participants on the site in a free 21-day TeleSummit on the site. The presentations are in interview format.

I saw that other story folks I’ve encountered are also participating: Julie Ann Turner, Michelle James, and Susan Luke*. So I’ve signed up for the series. The interviews began Aug. 6 are are continuing for 21 days; Madelyn’s is scheduled for this Tuesday the 13th. If you sign up (here), you also get access for a limited time to the interviews that have already take place. Here’a a summary of the early ones:

Felicia Slattery interview – Tell Your Story with Your Signature Speech

Most important takeaways:

  1. Drop all the hype and simply communicate who you are and what you do to those you can best serve
  2. A fast and effective way to network with a whole room full of people at one time – and do it in a way that allows you to tell your story and be memorable.

Craig Harrison interview: Homegrown Humor – Prospecting Our Past to Find Hidden Story Treasures

Most important takeaways:

  1. Find past personal stories you can polish and share with others to teach, inspire and entertain with “homegrown” humor from your own life,
  2. Look with new eyes at disappointments, missteps and mishaps, and even tragedy (which, over time may turn into comedy).
  3. Explore the universal values, lessons and learning points embedded in your own personal stories.

Julie Ann Turner interview – SHIFT YOUR STORY ARC: Crafting the Trajectory of Your Life, Work & World

Most important takeaways:

  1. Shift Your Story Arc and Craft the Trajectory of Your Life, Work & World
  2. See that your life, work and world are shaped by story, by the stories you tell – and by the stories you believe.
  3. Recognize the story YOU are telling the world and learn to fully express your core meaning and message and to reach your highest potential

Julie Ann delivered what sounds like a similar presentation* during last year’s Reinvention Summit.

Gina Graves interview – How to Harness the Power of Story in Social Media

Most important takeaways:

  1. Use your story in every aspect of developing your on line business with Gina’s five core systems necessary to build a successful on line business.
  2. Discover how to grow RICH through Gina’s five core systems and the secret power of your story on the internet!

The five systems are:

1. Mindset System
2. Relationship Building system
3. Monetization System
4. Leveraging System
5. Traffic and lead-generating system

Lisa Rosetti*, who has participated in my Q&A series, will soon have a new ebook out with co-author Tony Wall. I’ll be previewing the book, entitled Story Skills for Managers: Nurturing Motivation with Teams, for probable testimonial purposes.

Another Q&A subject, Mike Wittenstein*, also has a new project, a revamped Web site, which he describes as having “a whole new look with multi-language editions, new video, and a user-friendly Speaker’s Kit.” Mike says he assembled the talent to design, develop and bring to life a website that reflects his work in customer experience and service design as a speaker and practicing consultant.

Users can sign up for exclusive content by subscription that is not available on the website. “You can opt out at any time, but we think you’re really going to like it,” Mike says.

A couple of blog posts gaining traction for story guru Thaler Pekar* (still another Q&A subject) have been Hearing the Stories within the Stories and What Will Replace the Hero’s Journey?, both on Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Thaler reports that the posts were inspired by “the smart students in my Story and Narrative Persuasion course at Syracuse University’s Executive Masters in Communications Management, and by our wise clients.” (I will keep these in mind this fall as I prepare to teach PR for nonprofits to doctoral students.)

She also notes that the Atlantic Philanthropies has launched a Stories of Impact section on its website, featuring written and videotaped stories gathered and produced by Thaler Pekar & Partners.

“One of those stories,” Thaler writes, “this three-minute video about Witness to Innocence – went viral after being featured on Upworthy, generating over 31,000 views in just one day (it’s been viewed more than 56,000 times since launching), 1,325 shares, 2,670 likes, and 239 Facebook comments. A terrific example of the power of story to engage people and inspire action.”

John Capecci and Timothy Cage, authors of Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference, have a lively new blog. (I wrote about the authors’ participation in last year’s Reinvention Summit here.)

I just bought their book as a possible text for the nonprofit PR class I’ll be teaching. I decided it’s not quite right for the class, but it’s an excellent book for spokespersons and advocates.

*Sorry about the formatting on the old Q&As; they date back to my blog’s former platform. One of these days, I’ll spiff them up.