Words That Change

Making stories happen

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A little life in storytelling

Words That Change is moving fast, as only it should given the name. I wanted to take stock briefly and organise, for myself at least, what has happened so far.  So here is a little story about storytelling for business, business storytelling and stories that tell businesses.

My love for storytelling was born at the Mezrab art cage in Amsterdam. This is an open story space where anyone can stand up and tell a story. It has an amazingly high quality whilst also being the kind of place where newcomers feel comfortable sharing fairytales and true stories in front of an audience.

This space – the interaction with storytellers and experience of telling stories – got me looking at what the best way of telling a story is, what gives stories power, how people are moved by them. Working in communications at Philips Design this storytelling awareness was combined with practical experience of corporate communications in a creative environment. I left Philips and became an Associate Storyteller at the Storytelling Company (the owner Mathieu called me “a natural storytelling talent”, which is lovely because they work for Heineken).

Gradually people at the Hub Amsterdam began asking me with help with their stories and so the storytelling workshop was born. It has taken place at MVO Nederland (see video), at Windesheim Honours College (see feedback) and twice at the Hub Amsterdam (email me for the handbook ). Another will take place in June at the Knowmads Social Business School in Amsterdam.

After the last Hub Amsterdam workshop a participant felt moved to post on Facebook: “Short but powerful, intelligent and simple.” It seems to capture what people intuitively know to be true in stories and give them a framework so they can organise their business information on different media in a compelling way.

In addition to the workshops, I also consult. Most recently supplying assitance and storytelling coaching to AirBnB co-founder Joe Gebbia with his presentation at the TNW 2012 conference. His comments by email were “The talk was superb. I’m really delighted how things came together. Your feedback was just what I needed. Many thanks again!”

So that’s the WTC scrapbook. Given that the first workshop was given last November, it’s been quite exciting. If you’d like to part of this unfolding story and have ideas or opportunities for where this could go next, please get in touch.

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