The Rise of the Storyteller Entrepreneur

“Your ability to shape your future depends on how well you communicate where you want to be when you get there. When ideas are communicated effectively, people follow and change.”
— Nancy Duarte

“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”
— Steven Spielberg

If you are an entrepreneur like me who wants to stay “connected” while still balancing humanity and technology in the Digital Age, then you will agree with this observation I made in my latest article for The Huffington Post:

Information is truly the currency of the Digital Age, where people partake of constantly shifting streams and power hubs and entrepreneurial opportunities to broker this power along the pipeline. All you need is a WiFi connection, some time on your hands, and a desire to learn. Oh yeah, don’t forget to polish your consulting chops and create and launch a product/service that renders someone else’s service/product obsolete. Or solves a major pain point collectively felt in our increasingly transparent and globally connected society.

Upon further reflection on the changing landscape of entrepreneurship, which I wrote about in both my new LinkedIn and Tumblr post, I realized I omitted this truth.

Today’s entrepreneur needs to hone one more thing: good storytelling skills. 

Every entrepreneur has a story worth telling, worth listening to. I share some of mine in this video. I write about storytelling’s power and impact in my book, The NICE Reboot, and have previously blogged about this topic as well.

I even suggest these relevant books to others I meet when I attend entrepreneurship/networking/leadership events:

• Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath (discussed in my book)

Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull (which I blogged about recently in my latest series here)

• Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte

• The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter

• Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations by Dan Roam

• The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo

• Power vs. Perception: Ten Characteristics of Self-Empowerment for Women by Mary Anne Kochut (see my Amazon review)

• Empowered Women of Social Media: 44 Women Found Their Voices Using The Power of Social Networking by KL Taylor and Carla Hall et al (see my Amazon review)

Storytelling helps us parse, chunk, convey, and learn information better. About each other. About ourselves. About the product/service we are trying to launch. Good storytelling enhances our social leadership and creativity skills; two areas entrepreneurs need to be mindful of in the iEra. A time where art and technology are coming together in surprising and positive ways.  A time where the proverbial pitch has been elevated to an art form, potentially seen by countless people.

Thanks the ease and speed of visual global communication via video sites like Vimeo showcasing creative masterpieces, and people who wield influence on  social media and TV shows like Shark Tank, everyone is getting in on the Story. Even Jimmy Kimmel, who’s appearing in this week’s episode! Even the corporate arena, where compelling stories can impact a brand’s likability.

Today’s startup culture is growing and demanding a different kind of entrepreneur. One whose personal brand conveys a promise. A promise to create experiences and make a difference while selling products/services and sustaining relationships with clients/consumers.

Before every pitch, every endeavor, every social media post, and every story I tell in real time, or at a live event, I ask myself this:

How can I imbue this sound byte with authenticity and  meaning? 

Who helps me stay on course? Believe it or not, children! I’ve worked with children for years and am still amazed and pleasantly surprised by they content of their speech. By their ability to authentically and creatively convey bold ideas, emotional resonance, poignancy, humor, and lessons in their daily conversations. 

Aren’t these the very elements of great storytelling?

P.S. You can learn more about my book and my story at the NY Business Expo in Manhattan next week! I look forward to meeting you and hearing yours! You can tweet me  or connect with me on LinkedIn 🙂



Stories   Bridge


About penina4niceinitiative

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, is the author of "The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur". She is an Autism specialist and educational technology consultant turned social entrepreneur. She is also a pediatric speech therapist and the creator of the Socially Speaking™ Program & iPad App. Her second book, "Autism Intervention in the iEra" was published in 2015. Since 2010, Penina has been a national/international speaker about social communication development, balancing humanity and technology, and best practices re: mobile and social technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. You can also find her on Twitter: @PopGoesPenina, Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC, Google+ at The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, and Pinterest and YouTube as well.
This entry was posted in Entrepreneurial Strategy, Social Media & Entrepreneurship, The Art of Storytelling, Thought Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

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