Part 2 of 2
Author: Bess Gallanis
Bess Gallanis is the founder of Speaking with Power and Persuasion, an executive communications consulting firm based in Chicago. She is a communication coach, speaker, journalist, a student of yoga and insight meditation and the author of Yoga Chick (Warner Books, 2006). For more than 25 years, public and private company CEOs, senior executives, portfolio managers and financial advisors have sought out Bess to help them develop their leadership voice and to make an impact through skillful communications. She prepares clients for high stakes presentations, media interviews and sensitive conversations. Bess draws from the universal wisdom of yoga and insight meditation as a model for Presentation Yoga, which emphasizes leadership from within, personal authenticity and storytelling.
Last night I watched “The Social Network” and this morning I rewrote this post. What does “The Social Network”, a fictionalized movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have in common with business storytelling?
The movie’s creators did not intend “The Social Network” as a literal biography of Mark Zuckerberg, the real person. The movie is a mythological creation story, retold for our times. Myths are shared cultural stories, generally regarded as the truth about a remote past. Facebook was The Big Bang of social networking, giving birth to an entirely new digital world and with it, a new kind of social contract.
The world of Facebook may have been new, but since the beginning of time, innovation and success have bred envy and jealousy. His Facebook co-founder and two Harvard classmates sued Zuckerberg, both the real and the fictional man, simultaneously. The movie’s lead character, the fictional Mark Zuckerberg, is an archetype. As his lawyer in the movie tells a naïve and bewildered Zuckerberg: “Every creation myth needs a bad guy.”
“The Social Network” brings into sharp relief the type of market forces that are driving innovations in business communication -- in both form and function.
A new generation of executives sees that to connect and engage with stakeholders, they need a compelling narrative that can be heard and understood by a diverse, global audience. They also need the skills to communicate across multiple media channels -- text, audio, video and images.
The form for this new challenge is storytelling. Effective leaders know that the best stories win -- people’s hearts, minds and commitment.
To take an idea from concept to story, follow a logical and methodical process:
PowerPoint is a great tool to organize and present data, but this format doesn’t do much to help the audience process that information. Generally, the point of storytelling is used to help the audience process information, come to a conclusion or to make a decision. Richard E. Mayer, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, conducts research around educational psychology.
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