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The Power of Story in Business2010.11.01

    We live in a world in which missions and messages are easily lost in the fog. How can we get our messages heard, remembered, and repeated? This is a critical question in business, for without brand recognition and mindshare, customers may just walk on by.


    The traditional approach has been to force people to notice, through interruptive advertising messages that hijack your attention. Advertisers have even got the power of persuasion down to a science, using techniques such as repetition, association, and social proof. But we have been bombarded with so many marketing messages and so many media channels, that consumers have gotten wiser, and technology now offers many ways to filter out the noise.


    Permission Marketing is a book by Seth Godin, who coined the term in proposing that customers faced with an info-glut of interruptive marketing messages simply shut them out. They now pay attention selectively, only to those messages that they have opted in for or subscribed to. The term permission marketing was introduced in 1999, over ten years ago. Now with ever more information at our fingertips, we may find ourselves drowning in the information that we have opted in to receive. When was the last time you actually completed a book which you bought? There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to pay attention to all of the messages we get from traditional and social media.


    There is one way however that is, and always has been the best way to naturally get and hold people’s attention, through the magic of storytelling. We know this intuitively, because storytelling is the core of our conversations, and the crux of everything from news, to cinema, to entertainment. But how can storytelling be used in business, in a way that is authentic, and not just an advertising message in sheep’s clothing?


    Doug Stevenson has found a solution, formed from his experience as an actor and keynote speaker, and has been proven in training CEOs, executives, salespeople, and professional speakers, with international clients including companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, and Bayer. Doug’s Story Theater Method combines the art and science of storytelling, how to select and craft a story that delivers your point, how to develop a dynamic presence, connecting with humor and emotion, and making your point stick.


    I was first attracted to Doug Stevenson’s work through his book, Never Be Boring Again Make Your Business Presentations Capture Attention, Inspire Action and Produce Results, now entitled simply, Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method. But what really impressed me was his ability as a speaking and storytelling coach, particularly for Keynotes and appearing on Camera for video or television. He can teach you how to speak without notes, how to be yourself in front of a camera, how to structure your message to be moving and memorable.


    The beauty of storytelling is that it is based on your own experience and emotion. It comes from within. The challenge of storytelling is that many of us get nervous and lose our presence of mind on stage or in front of a camera. That alone can make a mess of your message!


    In business we need to deliver a meaningful message through our story, a message that persuades, and sticks in the mind because it is worth retelling. This is where the method comes in, and Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method is both art and science, practical and theatrical.


    Doug’s career in acting spanned everything from improvisational theater to Shakespeare, and he has acted on stage, in film, and television. As a professional speaker he has worked all over the US and Canada, as well as throughout Europe, Australia, and Singapore.


    Now Doug Stevenson will be visiting Tokyo and conducting a workshop in storytelling for business in Tokyo on Saturday, November 20th, 2010, 1-5 pm (or 1300-1700). Further details can be obtained by contacting , and by visiting the website at


    For further information on Doug Stevenson’s Workshop, download a PDF file Power to Persuade Magic of Story at


    William Reed


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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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