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The Storyteller's Mind Movie

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


Book Description

Storytelling is an essential business skill. We use stories in a variety of ways to attract customers, partners, investors, and build your team. Your audience needs to understand why you do what you do, and your powerful storytelling skills must emotionally hook them. A pie chart can’t communicate emotionally, the way stories do.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Find your pertinent stories for keynotes, town halls, sales and investor presentations, fundraising and recruitment interviews, as well as media appearances.

  • Craft your stories to stop the meander.

  • Put your listeners in a “Mind Movie” so that they see it, taste it, smell it, touch it, and most of all, feel it---so that your leadership becomes magnetic, memorable, and impactful to drive the results you seek.

  • Transform your verbal presentation slides so that they support you, and don’t usurp you with too much information.

As Steve Jobs said, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” And, I’ll add that as the presenter or storyteller, you have the obligation to educate, empower, inspire, motivate, and entertain. That’s where refined storytelling skills come into play. Your business mission, vision, and work depend on the connections you make with others. Your stories matter, so tell them well!

Editorial Review

Some business people might see the title of "The Storyteller's Mind Movie: Become an Emotionally Connected Leader Through Your Storytelling Skills" by Melissa Reaves and conclude that it is for people with careers in acting/cinematic/spoken word and keep scrolling. If they did, they'd be doing themselves a disservice. This book is for anyone who has to ask someone for something, sell someone something, pitch an idea to someone, etc.

This book would be instructive to most people in business, whether working for a big corporation, small agency, or as a sole proprietor. Reaves' words rang true to me from my years of crafting presentations, pitching ideas, and speaking to audiences. I found her suggestions to be spot on. Sometimes you get the chance to plan a presentation before you have to give it. For these situations, Reaves has suggestions for how to create your visuals and not overwhelm your audience. (Remember, presentations are often given in dimmed light. A boring presentation is just begging for heads to start nodding.)

Sometimes you have to speak off the cuff, such as at a retirement party, a funeral, or to replace the planned speaker. Reaves suggests building your own "Story Library" of key moments in your life. You can then call upon this library to have a crafted story ready to go under any circumstances: "You have Stories of Resilience, Stories of Bravery, Stories of Triumph, Stories of a Mess Up." A good place to start might be with your "Founder's Story," what she calls "Story Fruition." She suggests calling on your "Gut Instinct": Go make a list of what you are good at and what brings you joy."

When I first started making business presentations in the 80s, I learned how to keep your audience engaged. It hasn't gotten any easier since then. "Our modern society has a short attention span. TikTok and Snapchat are conditioning our awareness and powers of observation—so as a presenter, you cannot risk boring your audience."

She says, "Every time, EVERY TIME, you put a crowded slide up, you are essentially asking the listener to drop their active listening, lose their focus on you, and become a reader too." SO true!

Reaves suggests creating several versions of your story to tailor it to different audiences. Remember, you don't have to tell everything that happened. "Crafting the full version of your journey needs delicate thinking. It is not necessary to bog your listeners down with meticulous linear timeline events." YES! When I used to hold workshops for writers who wanted to be published, I would often have them practice their "elevator pitches." This is a role-playing scenario in which the wannabe writers would envision that they had stepped into an elevator with their target agent or editor on the elevator. In 30 seconds, they had to pitch their book idea, audience, genre, and why they were THE one to write it. Most people fail this from the start, unable to keep it to 30 seconds.

Some eventually get better; some never do.

More of Reaves' advice is pertinent for businesspeople and writers alike. If you're telling a story, she says, the audience has to know where you are and when you are. If your audience can't follow this, she says, "your audience will start to get confused, and then they’ll start to wonder, then wander off from listening to you. And with storytelling, if you wander off and try to jump back on the tracks, it’s harder to catch up and follow the Mind Movie."

She also describes the practice of "Storyboarding," something invented by Walt Disney and his creators as a quick way to get a story's skeleton down on paper in a large enough format that it could be discussed and amended by a group of people. Storyboarding is a very useful tool when a group has to create things from scratch; it encourages input from everyone just by its visual nature.

Reaves also has some interesting insight into people's roles, especially entrepreneurs: "there are three kinds of entrepreneurs and inventors: 1. Those who fix something that is broken. 2. Those who expand something that already exists and is ready for the next level. 3. Those who create something unique. Which one are you?"

If you're in business, this book is for you!

Get Your Copy TODAY!

Click HERE

About The Author

Melissa Reaves is a Seattle based Executive Storytelling Mentor and Founder/CEO of Story Fruition. She has over 25 years in start-ups as well as enterprise sales--so she's grown up in corporate environments and knows first-hand how challenged most presentations are in that realm. She and her coaches help C-Suite executives, authors, scientists, engineers, inventors, and capital raising entrepreneurs learn to become compelling storytellers in their presentations, Town Halls, media podcasts and signature talks--so that they shine and feel confident as they work to change the world with their message. Her book, The Storyteller's Mind Movie, is a hands-on tool that teaches the core elements that turn a meandering story into a vivid, well-crafted Mind Movie that the listeners can see, hear, smell, taste and FEEL. Storytelling is an essential business skill, but most people have never really been taught how to story TELL---so Melissa is bringing what she does professionally onstage as an actor, improviser, and storyteller--and takes it to the boardroom. "Let's remove the boredom from the boardroom--and make it exciting and inspiring by creating emotionally connected leaders. That's where storytelling skills come in." Her own storytelling has been on NPR, PBS (2x), Ignite Seattle (2x) and she's won several storytelling competitions including The Moth and the National Storytellers Network. Her work also supports LGBQT+ initiatives, as well as produced Melanin Stories Matter, a storytelling show spotlighting Black, Indigenous and People of Color to quell racism and celebrate our diversity as humans. In addition, she enjoys cooking, lifting weights, going on hilly walks and enjoying her two silver tabbies, Totoro and Thor. She's the proud mother of her two “spawn” Quincy and Maisy. “My kids are amazing,They are fabulous storytellers too!”

Facebook: @storyfruition LinkedIn: /company/story-fruition/ Instagram: story_fruition Twitter: @StoryFruition YouTube: Story Fruition


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