The role of emotions in storytelling

"At the end of the day, words and ideas presented in a way that engages listeners’ emotions are what carry stories. It is this oral tradition that lies at the center of our ability to motivate, sell, inspire, engage, and lead.”

- Peter Guber

Thank you Peter and Harvard

Most of what I’ve learned from good storytelling has came from the writings and speeches of people like Peter Guber, and quality research publications like Harvard Business Review. We simply want to acknowledge their impact on our team and thank them for their contributions in this important leadership skill.

Who is Peter Guber?

Peter Guber is a remarkable human. At 77 years old there isn’t much he hasn’t done. In his heart though, deep down, he is a self-proclaimed storyteller. His stories have been captured in movies: 44 in total, which have grossed $3 billion worldwide, and earned 50 Academy Award nominations. Peter has also written stories: 3 books, one of which is titled Tell to Win and was a #1 NYT bestseller. In his spare time he co-owns 4 sports teams, e.g. Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers.

Truth in storytelling

Peter suggests that every good story must embody 4 indispensable truths:

  • Truth to the teller: authenticity, vulnerability, honesty

  • Truth to the audience: respect their time, engage them, fulfill their emotional needs

  • Truth to the moment: prepare rigorously, tailor your message, improvise, clarity/brevity matter

  • Truth to the mission: appeal to something greater than us, speak with passion, don’t pander

Putting into practice

Peter has delivered riveting, wall-shaking keynotes to the largest companies is the world, e.g. Cisco, Twitter, Intel, Under Armour. But once you’ve drafted your message, its time to put your story into practice. One low-risk way to get started is to drop-in on a local Toastmasters group.

There are over 80 chapters in San Francisco alone, and almost 200 in the Bay Area.

What story do you want to tell?