How to Convince an Audience Through Storytelling

Steve Shepard teaches an executive education class at USC’s Marshall School of Business Institute for Communication Technology Management.  Beyond the course material, the best takeaway for the corporate communications executives is learning how to be a better storyteller.  This skill is not taught, but it is learned, largely by watching Steve and some of the other examples he shares.

A brilliant example is this TED Talk from Sir Ken Robinson, who says schools kill creativity.

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original …. We are now running national educational systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make.

Creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value; more often than not it comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things.

Sir Robinson warms us up with humor along the way, then convinces us with one of the most inspirational, encouraging stories I’ve heard: the epiphany of Gillian Lynne, Broadway choreographer of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, told in the segment from 15:00 – 17:35 in the video below.

As Steve writes in his book The Deliberate Storyteller, the best way to learn to be a great storyteller is by watching great storytellers.  He shares a few more points with us in our video interview.