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July 19, 2008

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Don Campbell

I just picked this book up last week because I was reading in "The Pixar Touch" that the Pixar team attended McKee's seminar early on and used many of his principles in their films.

I'm fascinated with storytelling and exploring the subject with my 9 year old daughter now - it's such and important life skill; in both business and personal settings. Thanks for the great summary and perspective on this Garr!

Andy Breeding

I recommend the abridged audiobook version of McKees book as recommended by Kevin Kelly in this article:

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000111.php

It truly was great listening to this...

-Andy

Matthew Bennett

Great post Garr, thanks. Inspired me to go and read more about Mckee and I found these two articles which are relevant if anybody's interested:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/10/20/031020fa_fact?currentPage=all

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/3583.html

Chris

Thanks for this really interesting post. I think that part of being a good leader is the ability to connect with your audience. Story telling can be a really great way to do this as it enables you to stir the emotions of others and to take them on a journey with you. Of course there are times when facts are more appropriate too (perhaps in times of crisis) but storytelling should be something every good leader has in their tool bag.

Chris
http://learn2develop.blogspot.com

Dean

Garr, I followed the link you provided to the interview with Robert in the The Age online site. I was VERY excited to see he was doing a three day course right here in Melbourne in mid-August ... just a few weeks away. There is a ph number to book ... and it's only $600 !

I excitedly call the number, credit card in hand and guy at that number doesn't have a clue what I'm talking. I reload the page to tell him how The Age has *his* ph number published as the booking number for McKee's seminar .... and only then notice that the article is from 2004 !

What's that thing Homer Simpson always says ....

- Dean

Don Campbell

@Matthew Bennett - thanks for the additional links. I enjoyed those articles too.
-Don

Scott Edwards

Great stuff. It's a struggle to get my story across since I'm immersed in a world of statistics and data. So this was very useful info. Also, perhaps if I drop a bunch of f-bombs in my speech that will do the trick. Seems to be hollywood's favorite word.

Jan Schultink

Useful material. I can see how I could try to use these concepts in presentations for a new startup that has a truly innovative idea and needs to raise money for it. The challenge is in incorporating them into the presentation of the end results of let's say a data cleaning project for the customer database... This does not mean I shouldn't try though.

g

Anyone know how to recreate that great taped-on look of the photos?

Zuchrivious

Well, the inseparable leadership and communication skill. HBR itself is a magnificent sample of both. And of course your blog.

Dan Brantley

One of my favorite Isaac Asimov quotes is: "The universe is not made up of atoms, but of stories."

Traditionally this was how knowledge was passed on from generation to generation for millenia. Humans naturally seem to favor story-telling over a dry recitation of facts. And if the story has a touch of humor in it so much the better.

Jeroen de Miranda

Garr,

After reading your great book 'PresentationZen'; I also started reading 'Story' by Robert McKee.
Indeed, this is a fabulous book on screenwriting and story telling! This is definitely very useful in my professional life; I will use this as management consultancy tool.

This also ties nicely with the central theme in the writings of Harvard Professor John Kotter on Change Management: changes in organizations are best implemented by using stories, and not just by presenting factual information. On this topic I present more information at: http://tinyurl.com/5sou4n

Matthew Bennett

I felt like reading much more about this and posted about what appear to be the basic elements of McKee's stories and some other thoughts:

http://www.matthewbennett.es/2008/07/robert-mckee-and-emotional-business-storytelling/

Rick Braddy

I totally agree with Robert's point of view here. In fact, I've been able to double our sales using the Power of Story in Marketing in one of my online businesses.

I'm investing a lot more time and energy into story-based marketing, because it really works these days.

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I went through the experience of enjoying the power of stories,you know,its like hypnosising your audience and leting them say yes to whatever you say.Its a great way to build rapport with them as helps you to end your presentation up successfully.

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'Story' is a great book but is hard to translate into action without attending the workshop too!
I was at Medialab in Dublin a few years ago and Rolf Jensen spoke about the 'Dream Society' (also title of his book). He talked of Disney and his stories based around six actors-
Protagonist
Helper
Antagonist
Fairy godmother
Audience
Goal
So the film Cinderella has these actors
Cinderella
Mice and birds
Wicked stepmother
the fairy
Us
Prince Charming
and a group in an organisation becomes
Protagonist:Client, sponsors,companies
Helper:Your department/team
Antagonist: Lack of innovation, business as usual
Fairy Godmother:“Divine” moments, new ideas, inspiration
Audience: users, customers, Society
Goal: Growth, profits, recognition, more ideas

It becomes an 'useful' framework to compose an engaging story.

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I went through the experience of enjoying the power of stories,you know,its like hypnosising your audience and leting them say yes to whatever you say.Its a great way to build rapport with them as helps you to end your presentation up successfully.

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After reading your great book 'PresentationZen'; I also started reading 'Story' by Robert McKee.
Indeed, this is a fabulous book on screenwriting and story telling! This is definitely very useful in my professional life; I will use this as management consultancy tool.

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