130: The Storyteller’s Secret: Why Some Ideas Catch on and Others Don’t | with Carmine Gallo



Storytelling is the most underrated skill [among entrepreneurs].

~ Ben Horowitze, famed venture capitalist

Storytelling is the act of framing an idea as a narrative to inform, illuminate, and inspire. From Steve Jobs to Sheryl Sandberg to Richard Branson, successful leaders study and practice the art of storytelling in order to attract top talent, increase workforce engagement, and launch movements. In fact, in our work at Aspendale helping clients with their workforce communications, storytelling is almost always a component of the overall strategy.

We’ve talked about the importance of storytelling for leaders on three past episodes of Engaging Leader, but this is the first time we’ve ever dug into a whole book that focuses on this topic.  

In The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch on and Others Don’t, Carmine Gallo explains how to use storytelling and its power to build emotional connections to make a difference (rather than fall on deaf ears). The ability to package ideas into a compelling story is one of the most proven skills that makes leaders successful.

While the roots of storytelling are ancient, Gallo shares the latest science that proves its impact, which only became evident in the past decade. The science of storytelling that Gallo uncovers here helps explain why:

  • Some TED talks go viral — and others are forgettable,
  • Some leaders start movements — and others miss the mark,
  • Some companies have high employee engagement — and others see high turnover,
  • Some non-profits raise millions of dollars — and other struggle,
  • Some job candidates stand out — and others can’t persuade recruiters, and
  • Some entrepreneurs change the world — and others don’t.

Carmine Gallo is a communication coach for some of the world’s most admired brands, including Intel, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Google, Disney, and more. He writes the Forbes.com column My Communications Coach. He’s the author of seven books, including the bestseller that we discussed in Engaging Leader episode 87, Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds.

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