Author Archive


One way to make your stories even more meaningful

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 1, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Sometimes it’s a good idea to finish a story so that the audience has to put some pieces together to get what the story is about. When someone puts some work in understanding a story they own it and it’s more meaningful for them. As an example, my 21-year-old daughter told me this story the […]

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The Power of Failure Stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 13, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Your willingness to share a failure can have a powerful effect. I remember this one clearly. It was a real punch to the gut. I was standing in the foyer of the Melbourne Fire Brigade headquarters when I received the call. The voice on the other end of the line was a new client: ‘I’m […]

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10 Story-eliciting questions to be a wonderful conversationalist

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 2, 2014
Filed in Events

You know that networking is important. But if you are like me, you find networking events hard work. You’re not really sure what to say or how to get a good conversation going. Part of the problem is that we put too much pressure on ourselves to do all the talking in social situations. Well, […]

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One simple way to bring your stories to life

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 9, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Often people mistakenly think oral stories are about words when in fact good oral stories are about pictures and emotions. When you hear a story and can see it happening you’re transported to the place where it’s taking place and you relive it with the teller. This natural and effortless collaboration between teller and listener […]

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3 reasons why certain stories really resonate

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 24, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

This week I’ve been at the Middle East Leadership Communication Conference in Abu Dhabi. I ran a Storytelling for Leaders workshop and gave a keynote on strategic stories. In the workshop I asked the participants to think of a good leader and share a story that illustrates why you think they’re outstanding. One participant shared […]

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How to trigger positive stories about your business

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 8, 2014
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

I’ve just spent a week travelling the California coast with my brother, Scott. We visited many restaurants and wineries but the ones that stand out did something remarkable, something out of the ordinary. The Palace Grill in Santa Barbara is a Cajun restaurant. Lots of people line up to get a table. Lots of buzz. […]

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How to connect brand and sales with oral stories to accelerate growth

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 19, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication, Strategy

Salespeople detest brand gobbledygook. And it’s no wonder. Have you heard brand lingo lately? Lovemarks, saliency, brand-defined competitive sets, brand character, brand claims, brand personality, 80-slide PowerPoint presentations sprinkled with made-up words and forgettable catchphrases … It’s hard for a salesperson to understand this brand bumf, much less translate it into something they can share […]

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6 ways to avoid a common business storytelling blunder

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 5, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

You want a persuasive story with impact, right? So your natural response is to gather all the details you need to paint a vivid picture, add some emotion, and throw in a good twist. Then you craft your story. When you’re happy with it, you practise telling it – you practise, practise, practise. And then […]

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How to ensure people hear your story at work

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 23, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

“We don’t have time to hear a story. Just give us the facts.” Have you heard that before? The thing is, it’s simply untrue. We have all heard ‘facts’ drone on for ages. Yet you can tell a powerful and memorable story in a minute and a half, or less. Check out the video below […]

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