B1 Intermediate US 149 Folder Collection
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DAVE MARX: Carmine's a highly-regarded author
in the business world, who recently published his eighth
book, "The Storyteller's Secret--
From TED Speakers to Business Legends,
Why Some Ideas Stick and Others Don't."
Carmine's currently an author, columnist, and public speaker,
and has formally worked as a journalist and news anchor.
But I think, above all, Carmine is a storyteller.
His previous books had been massive hits.
His book, "The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs,"
also became an international bestseller,
and has been awarded the Axiom Award
for being one of the top three best business books in 2011.
And just today, Amazon Editor shows most recent book,
"The Storyteller's Secret," as one of the best new books
in business and leadership.
It's available everywhere now.
And we've been lucky enough to have some subsidized copies
through Google Talks that will be available for sale
in the back.
And I'm sure Carmine would be happy to sign
your copy for you, if you're willing to stick around
for a couple minutes after the talk.
So with that, I'd like to introduce the man himself,
Carmine Gallo.
All right, thank you.
Good morning.
I am really passionate about this topic.
And I'm passionate about it because I really
think that this is a topic that will help you in your careers,
help you in your business, make you more valuable than you've
ever imagined.
And it'll also help you sell your ideas more effectively.
So since we're talking about storytelling,
why don't we begin with a story?
Now, stop me if you've heard this before.
Two Stanford graduate students think
they've come up with an idea to change the world.
So they had over to Sequoia Capital, to ask for money.
Michael Moritz, one of the investors, the main investor
at Sequoia Capital, has been watching an endless stream
of really bad PowerPoints.
And Sergey and Larry do something different.
First, they have a working demo, which was really unusual
at that time.
It actually worked.
What a concept.
But they also did something very interesting.
They were able to summarize their entire vision
in one short sentence of under 10 words.
And Michael Moritz never forgot that.
And that sentence is "We organize
the world's information and make it accessible."
I spoke to Michael Moritz last year.
And he said, Carmine, tell your clients,
tell your groups that great leaders can do two things.
One, they have a vision for the future.
But they can communicate it especially well.
And so now, even today, if you walk
into Sequoia Capital's offices, they're
asking you for the one line.
And one investor told me, if you cannot summarize your idea
in one sentence, we're not interested.
Go back to the drawing board.
Because there's power in simplicity.
And there's power in articulating your ideas simply
and concisely.
When it comes to storytelling, especially, we
kind of know how this works.
Kevin Spacey said, "Story is everything and good content
making--" whether that's in business, marketing, or movies,
"--is not a crap shoot.
We know how this works."
There is a formula to this.
We know how persuasion works.
We know why you remember certain things
and why you forget others.
There's a formula to this.
In the music industry, for example, 90% of music revenues
come from 10% of the songs.
And this is a true statistic.
It's actually in a new book called "The Song Machine."
What's amazing about this is that the 10%
are written by a handful of people.
One guy in particular, is Max Martin,
who made it big with Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys.
And today, he write songs for pretty much all the other big
pop artists out there-- most of the songs that you hear,
the songs that you like, the ones that are memorable.
Because there's a formula to it.
He knows what works.
He uses something called track and hook.
So how many of you have had a Taylor Swift
song stuck in your head over the last year?
It's got three words.
What would it be?
What is it?
What is the three-word song?
What is it?
AUDIENCE: "Shake it Off."
CARMINE GALLO: "Shake it Off." "Shake it Off."
Thank you, Max Martin, who wrote that.
He knows how these things work.
We know how this works in communication too.
So in the 20th Century, give me one or two
of the most famous speeches of the 20th Century.
Name one.
AUDIENCE: I Had a Dream.
CARMINE GALLO: How did I know you were going to say that?
How did I know?
I Have a Dream speech.
And what is the most memorable part of the I
Have a Dream speech?
I have a dream.
That's called anaphora.
That's a rhetorical device that makes
something pleasing to the ear.
We know how this works.
What's the most famous line from John Kennedy's
inaugural speech?
AUDIENCE: Ask not what your--
CARMINE GALLO: --country can do for you.
What's the rest of it?
AUDIENCE: But what you can do for your country.
CARMINE GALLO: But what you can do for your country.
We know how this works.
There is a reason why you remember that.
It's the same reason why certain songs are stuck in your head.
How many of you, over the last year,
have had Omi's "Cheerleader" song stuck in your head?
Dave, you said, "Cheerleader?"
What's the chorus of "Cheerleader?"
"Oh, I think that I found myself a cheerleader.
She is always right there when I need her."
Max Martin would say, that chorus has to be balanced,
the same number of words and the same number
of syllables on each one, on each side of the chorus.
In other words, we know how this stuff works.
I won't give you any more songs.
I don't want them stuck in your head all day
when you're at work.
You're going to find yourself singing that cheerleader
song today.
And if you start Autotuning yourself,
then you know you've completely lost it.
But we know how this works.
We know how it works in persuasion too.
Great songwriters know how it works.
And we know how it works when you're communicating ideas.
Adam Braun is the founder of a wonderful startup,
but a great nonprofit called Pencils of Promise.
Every 90 hours now, Pencils of Promise
builds a new classroom in impoverished or underprivileged
communities around the world.
And he told me something really interesting once.
Because he's always out there fund raising.
And he said, Carmine, it's interesting.
Because when I'm speaking to a group of financial types,
I'm trying to raise funds, they all
want to know about how efficiently the nonprofit is
They want to know the data.
They want to know the finances.
But that's not what they remember.
They always seem to remember a two-minute sequence
from my presentation, where I show
a video of the first Pencils of Promise students.
Little girls that he met in Laos who
had never been in a classroom, had never
had a classroom before.
He shot a video a 30-second video on a smartphone, inserts
into his presentation.
He says, it's always a hit.
Here's the 30-second video he shows.
And that's it.
And then he shows this slide, which
is the same girls in their first Pencils of Promise school.
And he said, Carmine, facts and figures and data
never get me a standing ovation.
But this always does.
And this is what's memorable.
We know why this works.
Because we are wired for story.
Ideas that catch on are wrapped in story.
Stories inform.
They illuminate.
They inspire.
And it's not just me.
Because certainly, in business, most executive leaders
and successful business leaders believe the same thing.
That's the reason why I wrote the book.
It's because they kept telling me this.
Vinod Khosla, the billionaire investor,
said, "It's not enough to have facts on your side.
You have to do storytelling."
Ben Horowitz-- "Storytelling is the most underrated skill."
Let's go to "Shark Tank."
Barbara Corcoran-- "Storytelling is everything.
Show me an MBA and your sales numbers, that's fine.
But tell me a great story and we'll talk."
So here's the best part.
Storytelling is already in our DNA.
You already know how to do this.
We're all storytellers.
Storytelling around a campfire has been around 400,000 years.
It was a major development when people began to tell stories.
Firelight extended the day.
Anthropologists have been studying this.
When firelight extended the day, people started telling stories.
It ignited their imaginations.
It warned them of threats.
It was a major milestone in human development.
We've been doing this for centuries.
We know how to do it.
And people still do it today.
Richard Branson gathers his team around a campfire
at his home on Necker Island for the purpose of sharing stories.
Storytelling, he says, can be used to drive change.
In fact, about two weeks ago, Richard Branson
wrote a blog piece where he said,
if you want to be a successful entrepreneur,
you need to be able to tell stories well.
He said, you can have a great idea.
But if you can't communicate it well, it doesn't matter.
So we know how this works.
Today, for the next 20 minutes or so,
I want to give you three keys to winning the hearts
and minds of your audiences.
And that can be almost anything, whether you're
pitching a new idea, whether you're delivering
a presentation, what have you.
We're going to talk about the storyteller-- yourself--
the story that you deliver, and then
how you deliver that story.
So let's talk about the storyteller.
It's really important to see yourself
as the chief storytelling officer for your brand.
Great storytellers are not born.
They're made.
People work at it.
You cannot inspire other people until you're inspired yourself.
If you don't believe in your story, nobody else will.
And it's important, if you've faced adversity,
or if you've faced struggle in your life.
Or if you've had to overcome a business
challenge or a failure.
It's really important to share that story.
Because we are hard wired to find meaning in struggle.
And that's why we like to hear stories of people
who have overcome struggle.
Howard Schultz, for example, at Starbucks,
he often tells the story of growing up
in a Brooklyn housing project, watching
as his family struggled when his father was injured on the job.
Some of you may have heard that story before.
They had no health insurance.
They found it difficult to make ends meet.
Howard Schultz said, "The more uninspiring
your origins, the more likely you are to use your imagination
and invent worlds where everything seems possible."
And that's why he repeats that story constantly,
and it reinforces Starbucks' initiatives.
For example, it explains the why.
Why does Starbucks offer full-time health benefits
for part-time workers?
The story explains and underpins the why.
Now, I live in wine country in the Livermore Valley.
So anybody who's really into wine
knows that the best grapes come from very steep hillsides made
of limestone soil.
The grapes that are stressed are said to have more character.
And that's why it's important to share
those stories of adversity or struggle, triumph
over adversity.
Because we are hardwired, in nature,
to find meaning in that struggle.
And of course, all of you are very familiar with this here
at Google.
It's important to dream in moonshots,
and to speak in moonshot thinking.
That's another way of inspiring people to dream bigger.
We love rags-to-riches stories.
We're actually wired to love rags-to-riches stories.
Which is why almost every commercial movie
needs to have a happy ending.
We actually need to have a happy ending.
So the stories that work best are often
those stories where you have faced an intense struggle
in your life.
And then you've come out the other end,
and you're better for it.
Or the world is transformed and you've learned something.
In the book, I have a story about a guy named Mark, who
left England in the early '80s.
And he landed in Los Angeles.
His first job was a nanny.
His first entrepreneurial venture
was selling T-shirts on Venice Beach.
He hung T-shirts on a fence and sold them for $18.
He bought them for $2.
So he made a pretty good profit.
Today, Mark Burnett is one of television's most popular
But here's what he told me, when I interviewed him.
"My best skills have always been storytelling and pitching
Now, this is what applies to you today.
"All success begins with the ability to sell something,
whether it's a shirt or an idea."
So embrace the back story.
Believe in your story, or nobody else will.
Now, when it comes time to actually crafting and creating
that story, there are some techniques that work.
I believe that storytelling, especially in your career,
is your competitive advantage.
Whether you're pitching an idea, building a company,
growing a career, trying to motivate a team,
or just delivering a mission-critical presentation,
storytelling is your advantage.
It's what's going to set you apart.
The good news is that in the last 10 years,
we've learned more about why certain stories work,
than we've known since humans began painting
pictures on cave walls.
A remarkable thing happens to your brain on stories.
They're studying this at Princeton University.
When somebody tells you a story, the same regions
of your brain and your speaker's brain literally light up.
It's called neuro coupling.
You are literally in sync.
Paul Zak, in Orange County, is also studying this.
He's doing this in the lab.
He found that "A compelling story
with an emotional trigger--" that's the key.
What's the emotional trigger?
We'll talk about that in a minute.
But a compelling story with an emotional trigger
alters our brain chemistry, making us more trusting,
understanding, and open to ideas.
We know that when the brain hears a story,
there is a rush of chemicals-- cortisol, dopamine, oxytocin,
which is the love chemical.
It's the chemical that creates empathy between two people.
That's what happens when you hear a story.
So now, how are we going to incorporate story
in our presentations?
How do we do that?
Well, one good training ground is TED.
So how many of you watch TED Talks?
I'm sure a lot of you enjoy TED Talks.
I wrote a book called "Talk Like TED."
And it became a very popular book
in the field of public speaking and communication.
The one chapter that people really seem to like
was on storytelling.
But it was only a few pages, which
is why I expanded it into a whole book that
looks at storytelling not only in business, but also
in all types of different presentations that you have.
I firmly believe that the ideas that do catch on in any venue
are those that are wrapped in a compelling story.
So I do like to watch the TED Talks.
Because as Charlie Rose once said,
the reason why TED is special is because the presentations
are wrapped in story.
Very few people do it better than Bryan Stevenson.
Bryan Stevenson is a human rights attorney.
Some of you may have read his book, "Just Mercy."
He believes that there are many people
on death row, especially, who are incarcerated unjustly.
That's a very compelling book.
And he's a great speaker.
He thinks about story.
I interviewed him after his TED Talk.
He said, Carmine, narrative is hugely important in persuasion.
So when he's trying to get people
to his side, when he's trying to win people over,
he tells a lot of stories.
They're very short stories that reinforce his central theme.
And they're typically personal stories.
You don't have to always do the personal.
It could be a case study.
But for him, he finds that when he
connects with people personally, it makes a difference.
I want to show you a video clip from a now-famous TED Talk.
He received the longest standing ovation of any TED speaker
in TED history after this talk.
Bryan Stevenson was talking about the loss of identity
for many people in underprivileged communities.
And he talked about his grandmother.
He told a story about his grandmother
who, when he was 11 years old, pulled him aside
and had him make a promise to her that he would never
drink alcohol in his life.
He said, I was only 11 years old.
What the heck?
I agreed.
Here's how he picked up the story.
-I grew up in the country, in the rural south.
And I have a brother a year older than me
and a sister a year younger.
When I was about 14 or 15, one day, my brother came home.
And he had this six pack of beer.
I don't know where he got it.
And he grabbed me and my sister and we went out in the woods.
And we were just out there, doing
the stuff we basically did.
And he had a sip of this beer and he gave some to my sister.
And she had some.
And they offered it to me.
I said, no, no, no.
That's OK.
Y'all go ahead.
I'm not going to have any beer.
And my brother said, come on, we're doing this today.
You always do what we do.
I had some.
Your sister had some.
Have some beer.
I said, no, I don't feel right about that.
Y'all go ahead.
Y'all go ahead.
And then my brother started staring at me.
He said, what's wrong with you?
Have some beer.
Then he looked at me real hard.
He said, oh, I hope you're not still
hung up on that conversation Mama had with you.
I said, well, what are you talking about?
He says, well, Mama tells all the grandkids
that they're special.
I was devastated.
And I'm going to admit something to you.
I'm going to tell you something I probably shouldn't.
I know this might be broadcast broadly.
But I'm 52 years old.
And I'm going to admit to you that I've never
had a drop of alcohol.
I don't say that because I think that's virtuous.
I say that because there is power in identity.
That's quite remarkable.
And did you see how comfortable he was in telling that story?
And I asked him, do you tell that story all the time?
He said, oh yeah, in almost every presentation.
And I asked him why.
He said, because everybody has a grandmother.
I have to get people to like me.
It's a very good way of creating empathy.
Now watch this.
I created a data set here.
Doesn't this look like the tables
that you use in your own presentations?
Not exactly?
If we use Aristotle's Components of Persuasion,
and you take Bryan Stevenson's text of his TED Talk,
65% falls under what Aristotle would have called
Pathos, emotion, storytelling.
25% data to support the stories, and 10%
establishing credibility for who Bryan Stevenson is.
I love this template.
If you have a presentation-- story, data.
Story, data.
Story, data.
He told three stories and three data points.
Beautiful, very simple.
Only 25% data, whereas in most business presentations
isn't it completely the other way around?
It's 90% data.
Sheryl Sandberg is learning this too, over at Facebook, the COO.
How many of you are familiar with the movement
that she started?
"Lean In," right?
I argue that you never would have heard of "Lean In"
if it had not been for a story.
She gave a TED Talk on women in the workplace.
That TED Talk went viral, launched a bestselling book,
triggered a movement.
Never would have gone viral if it had not been for a story.
And she acknowledged it later.
She said, that she was prepared to give a presentation
chock full of data and no emotion, no personal stories.
A friend of hers pulled her aside and said, Sheryl,
you seem a little out of sorts today.
What's going on?
And she complained about having to fly there with her daughter
still in California, and her own issues
with being a working mother.
And her friend was patent, said, you really got
to start sharing those stories.
That's how you connect with people.
Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that she was very uncomfortable
with this.
But here is how she began her now famous TED Talk.
-Now, at the outset, I want to be very clear that this speech
comes with no judgments.
I don't have the right answer.
I don't even have it for myself.
I left San Francisco, where I live, on Monday.
And I was getting on the plane for this conference.
And my daughter, who's three, when I dropped her off
at preschool, did that whole, hugging the leg crying mommy
don't get on the plane thing.
This is hard.
I feel guilty sometimes.
I know no women, whether they're at home
or whether they're in the workforce, that
don't feel that sometimes.
So I'm not saying that staying in the workforce
is the right thing for everyone.
My talk today is about what the messages are if you do
want to stay in the workforce.
And I think there are three.
One-- sit at the table.
She's became a real storyteller.
In her book too, if you've read "Lean In,"
it's full of stories.
But she acknowledged she wasn't going to do originally.
So look, if you want to learn how to tell a better story,
there is a formula.
Let's go back to the formula.
Let's go to Hollywood.
Hollywood knows how to tell transformative stories.
All commercially successful Hollywood movies--
every single one-- has a three-part storytelling
And I'm sure you've seen this.
A lot of great books certainly have this too.
So the three-part structure of all hit movies
begins with the setup.
Oh, let's pick an Academy Award nominee.
I haven't seen "The Revenant." so I can't speak to that.
How about "The Martian?"
How many of you have seen "The Martian?"
OK, a few of you.
We're go with it.
Dave, you saw "The Martian?"
We'll go with it.
So the setup is the hero's world.
So here we have Matt Damon, as a botanist.
He just happens to be on Mars.
But you have to you get to know the team.
And the team's working with him.
And the team, they really love each other,
and they get along with each other.
But then something has to happen-- the conflict.
On Mars, it's the sandstorm.
If you ever watched "Titanic," it's
the Titanic hitting the iceberg.
I mean, these are very clear delineations
between Act One and Act Two.
So now the hero's world, literally,
is turned upside down.
And then, of course, the resolution.
How are we going to save Matt Damon?
And Matt Damon actually transforms too.
He becomes a better person by the end of the movie.
Great presentations follow the same structure.
Because this is the way people are sort of
wired to think in story.
So in 1984, Steve Jobs introduced
Macintosh, one of the great dramatic presentations
in corporate history.
It follows the exact same structure--
the setup, where he talks about the status quo, the world
as it is.
And he introduces a villain.
All great presentations have to have a villain.
The villain, in the Steve Jobs narrative, of course, was IBM.
IBM, he said, was bent on world domination.
He even used the language of movies.
He said, there's only one force to stand in its way,
and that's the resolution.
The hero unveiled the first Macintosh.
But we don't get to the resolution
until we go through the other three steps.
I've overlaid this structure on so many things-- presentations,
also, famous speeches.
Malala Yousafzai's beautifully-written Nobel Peace
Prize acceptance speech follows exactly the same structure.
She doesn't start with talking about the fact
that she was shot in that school bus.
She starts with Act One, the setup.
"In my paradise home--" she said.
She even starts with "In my paradise home--"
"Everything is great.
We-- loved learning." "We had a thirst for education."
Then something happened.
And she has a very clear distinction. .
"But things did not remain the same."
So now you know Act Two is going to start.
And now the conflict begins.
"I was in Swat, which was a place of-- beauty, suddenly
changed into a place of terrorism.
400 schools destroyed, people killed, beautiful dreams
turned into nightmares."
Conflict, and finally, the resolution.
Hero conquerors villain.
"The terrorists tried to stop us and attacked
me and my friends-- but we're still here today
because neither their ideas nor their bullets can win."
And now she is a voice for the 60 million young girls who
are deprived of an education.
This is a structure.
There is a formula.
So tell transformative stories, you
can do this easily in your very next business pitch.
You have an idea.
Start with Act One, the status quo.
Here's the status quo.
Here's the problem.
That's the villain.
Here's the problem that you may not even know
is around the corner.
And here's the resolution.
Here's how my idea is going to fix that problem.
It's sort of a natural way that we like to hear stories.
And finally, just in the last five minutes or so,
let me talk to you about the three steps
to making a presentation great.
Number one-- always sharpen your presentation skills.
Practice makes good storytellers great.
Very few people practice public speaking.
They don't practice, even their presentations,
before they're actually going to launch one.
Martin Luther King gave 2,500 speeches
before his Dream speech.
That's what I mean by when you see a great communicator--
whether it's a historical figure or just
somebody you know here at Google--
they weren't born that way.
They probably worked at it.
There was a very famous TED Talk-- Jill Bolte-Taylor,
she was the woman who had a stroke.
And she lived to tell about it.
I don't know if some of you remember that one.
She told me she practiced 200 times.
200 times.
So practice your presentation skills.
Always try to get better.
Second, illustrate your story as much as you can.
People like pictures more than words, especially on slides.
So you can have a few words.
But also try to balance the words and the pictures.
This is a balance.
Some of you may remember Chris Hadfield.
He was the singing astronaut.
He was the guy who sang "Space Oddity," floating
in space, the David Bowie song.
He's a great presenter.
He delivers 35-slide presentations
with no words, just pictures.
And when I asked him why he does that, he goes,
Carmine, I'm telling stories.
I'm telling a narrative.
Why do I want words to interfere with that?
I want people to listen to my words.
The slides just complement the story.
Let's take a look at Elon Musk.
Elon Musk is doing a lot of this lately.
His presentations are beautiful, but very minimalistic.
This slide only has three words on it.
The next slide has no words on it.
So this is definitely a trend in presentations, a little bit
more visual.
I'm not asking you to completely blow up
the way you do presentations.
But try to balance words and visuals.
I like this.
After this presentation, a blogger said,
"Dude's selling a battery and he still managed to be inspiring."
Of course, because it's more about storytelling.
And finally, unleash your best storytellers.
Let's say, you're a manager, where you have a team,
and you have to deliver an idea or a pitch.
It's not all about you.
Give everybody else a voice too.
In fact, if you go to a Broadway play, or if you go to a movie,
there's different characters.
Introduce different characters.
It's not just about you as the storyteller.
Make sure that everybody on that team
has a part of the narrative, has a part of that pitch.
This is what they're doing at SAP.
At SAP, the big software company,
they hired not a VP of marketing.
They hired a chief storyteller.
She's in the marketing department,
but she's a Chief Storytelling Officer.
And her role now, her mission is to unleash the stories
of 65,000 salespeople at SAP.
So she's giving them tools to be able to capture
customer stories so other sales people can share them too.
So when it comes to storytelling,
make sure that you unleash the best storytellers on your team.
And finally, let me just end with this.
I love this quote from Walt Disney.
"Storytellers instill hope again, and again, and again."
And that's why we need people to be more inspiring storytellers.
You're story can change the world.
It can change a career.
It can change an industry.
I believe that storytelling is not something that we just do.
Storytelling is who we are.
And all of you have stories inside of you.
So please, share those stories.
And inspire the people around you to live a better life.
Thank you very much for coming out this afternoon.
I appreciate it.
By the way, if you enjoyed it, tweet me.
I'd love to keep up the conversation.
Just go Carmine Gallo.
Or go to my website and sign up for a newsletter.
You'll get content every week on this topic of communication.
DAVE MARX: To start, I'd actually
like to kind of bring it to us, and how we might be
able to tell our own stories.
And one of my favorite lines in the conclusion
is a quote you put in from Robert Stone.
It says that "Storytelling is almost as necessary as bread.
We cannot imagine ourselves without it,
because the very sense of self is a story."
I really like that.
CARMINE GALLO: I wish that was my quote.
That was nice.
It is a great one.
And what I wonder is I know some people,
sometimes, have trouble telling their own narrative.
So what advice do you have to us,
to help identify our own narrative
and tell it in a better story?
CARMINE GALLO: Definitely what we're seeing,
especially in leadership today, we
are seeing more transparency, more authenticity,
where people do seem to be a little bit more comfortable
sharing those back stories, the back stories
of struggle and triumph.
And there's a reason why people like to hear those stories.
So it doesn't always have to be the skeletons in the closet,
It can be something as simple as having
a very big, major business challenge, or a failure.
I mean, this is a culture here, in Silicon Valley,
where we celebrate failures.
So if you've had a failure, if you've had a challenge
and you overcome it and you learn something,
that's one of the most powerful stories you can tell.
But you don't have to tell the personal stories either.
Remember, a case study is a story.
Very few people are using case studies anymore.
But they don't have to be boring.
If you're going to use a case study,
still put it into the context of narrative
with conflict and resolution and struggle and triumph
over struggle.
DAVE MARX: That makes a lot of sense.
Look to our own struggle, and then look to outside stories.
Our narrative doesn't always need to be stories about us,
You know, I brought up that slide of the Vinod Khosla.
He actually delivered that quote at a Khosla Summit,
where he gathers the CEOs from all of his portfolio companies.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page were both there as well.
And that was the conference where
Vinod Khosla walked on stage.
And he said, all of you are brilliant.
He wasn't talking to Sergey and Larry.
He was talking to his CEOs.
But they were there on stage.
And he said, all of you are brilliant.
But none of you are good storytellers.
So that's where I got that quote.
You have to learn to tell better stories.
We can't invest in you unless we understand the story.
That's actually why I wrote that book.
If he had not said that, I'm not sure
if I would have had the topic in mind.
Hey, how are you?
AUDIENCE: Hi, thanks for coming.
I had a question about actual stories.
AUDIENCE: You mentioned some Hollywood movies.
But can you mention some stories from literature
that are your favorites?
And why are those stories your favorites?
CARMINE GALLO: Like Oedipus, and some of the Greek stories.
I'll tell you, I don't read a lot of fiction.
But I love biographies.
So I am immersed in those kind.
Because biographies, what I have found--
and this actually reinforced some of the literature
that I've found-- it's important to tell family stories.
And it's important to tell tales of heroes.
Because they inspire us to be better people,
which is why the whole Horatio Alger type of stories
are actually very important for people to hear.
And I never realized why I loved certain historical books.
Anything on George Washington, is in my library.
I read everything on George Washington or Thomas Jefferson.
I love hearing all those stories.
And what happened during my research,
I found out that people like Elon Musk
said that they became more courageous because their youth
was spent reading stories of mythical heroes
and true heroes.
John Kennedy was laid up in bed for many, many months--
a lot of people don't know that history-- when
he was very young, in college.
He was laid up in bed.
He had terrible back problems.
He had a lot of illnesses.
During that time, he read books.
And he read mythical stories of King Arthur.
And when it came time for him, in World War II,
to play the hero in his own journey,
it all came back to him.
And so I was really curious as to why.
You know, why are all of these great leaders inspired by books
and inspired by stories?
There's a reason for it.
There's actually science that says
you are braver when you hear stories of people who conquer
seemingly-insurmountable odds.
Malala said, that her father was a storyteller,
and always told her stories of folk heroes,
of young women who could lead armies.
So eventually, the reason why those books are important--
and I tend to lean toward history books--
is because it actually inspires you to be a better person.
DAVE MARX: And I just wanted to read another quote
from the book that related to that.
DAVE MARX: From Greek philosopher, Plato, "Come then,
and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling.
And our story shall be the education of our heroes.
Plato meant that the stories themselves
would aid and inspire and guide others
to play the hero in their own life narrative."
It's been around forever.
CARMINE GALLO: They knew that back in ancient Greece, right?
But I don't think a lot of people
put those two and two together.
So if there's any questions?
Think about your next pitch.
Think about a presentation that you've delivered.
If you want to ask a question about that, because it
should be in narrative form.
And we could do that.
AUDIENCE: So I can completely appreciate
the need for storytelling.
Now, when it comes to the business world,
you gave us a great example about Apple.
AUDIENCE: And yes, that was in the kind of three-point format
that you described.
But is that very common?
Because when I was thinking about some examples,
it seems like the conflict just won't have the same punch.
Because there's not a lot of cases
where you can set up an enemy or a tremendous pain of some
sort, in that kind of three-point framework
that you were discussing.
I should add the caveat that what I'm showing
you are pretty extreme examples.
When it comes to just a basic pitch, basic idea,
just sharing your idea with the team,
the reason why I bring up the three-part narrative
is because anybody can start with the status quo.
So you can tell your team, or you
can tell the person, your client, your customer,
who you're trying to convince.
All this comes back to, we have to convince
people of something.
We have to convince people of our idea.
So if you can get people to start nodding in agreement
and saying, yeah, yeah, OK.
So that's the way things are happening now.
But there's a problem here.
And how are we going to resolve the problem?
In a basic business presentation,
the villain-- there has to be a villain in order
for a good story to take hold-- doesn't
have to be a competitor.
It doesn't have to be this big villain
bent on world domination.
It could be a problem.
Problem, solution.
You know who's doing this really well?
Is Elon Musk.
That presentation that I showed you was brilliant.
And he was introducing a battery.
So now we're talking about something that isn't that sexy.
It's a home battery that takes sunlight, converts it
to energy.
But the way he structured it, it was a narrative form.
And he started with a problem.
And he showed pollution being spewed in the air
by those smokestacks.
And he used very simple language.
He said, this is real.
This is happening.
It's not good.
And then the next slide was the sun, just a picture of the sun.
And he said, this is also a real.
It works.
It happens to be on every day.
Why aren't we harnessing this?
Let's take a look at today's batteries
to see what the problems are with today's batteries.
So now he's introducing a problem.
Now, how are we going to take the sun
and convert it to energy?
How do you do that?
Well, there's a problem with today's batteries.
But rest assured, I have a solution.
That's part three.
And here's my solution.
So within that three-part structure,
you could have a lot of fun.
Some screenwriters in Hollywood--
and I've talked to a lot of screenwriters, which
is why I have fun with this stuff-- they
don't like the formula.
But when they veer from that formula,
they got a flop on their hands.
So producers now, they actually go to a certain page
to find the beginning of Act Two.
Within the structure though, you can have a lot of fun.
You do a lot of crazy things within the structure.
But it seems as though people like a structure.
It's just something that we're kind of wired to do.
We like a logical structure.
What do most of us do what we create a PowerPoint?
Or when we create any type of presentation,
regardless of the tools you use?
We just put a lot of facts and data on there.
We don't even think about a structure.
We just load it up.
That's the biggest problem I've seen.
AUDIENCE: I'll admit the neuroscience
of this really fascinates me.
Think of it this way.
You described how it's all kind of this formulaic
conflict-resolution thing.
If you think about it, most of us,
we deal with conflict in our own work lives, personal lives.
It stresses us out.
We're frustrated.
And then we go home, we turn on TV, we read a book,
and we love seeing that conflict resolution play out.
We immerse ourselves in other people's conflict resolution.
CARMINE GALLO: That's true.
AUDIENCE: So a buddy of mine, he's
come from a neuroscience background.
We were at a party recently.
And we were trying to theorize what
about our brains enjoys that.
He started talking to me about dopamine,
which I understand, as we think of it often,
is sort of a pleasure-reward thing.
We're hungry, we eat something.
Dopamine gets released.
He told me something I didn't realize, which is dopamine's
also part of seeking.
And so it's sort of like, when the outcome isn't predictable,
dopamine gets released a lot more.
So I'm wondering if that's kind of what's
going on with stories.
Like, when we don't know what the outcome is going to be.
We're kind of on edge.
When the resolution happens, we get, like,
a hit of dopamine or something.
Is that kind of what's going on?
That's part of it.
Dopamine plays a lot of different roles.
But dopamine's also the feel-good chemical.
So if you can empathize with someone
to feel really good about that person,
then it releases dopamine too.
So it's all part of it.
But dopamine also forces you to pay attention.
And again, I'm not a neuroscientist.
But what I'm very good at-- because I'm a trained
journalist-- I enjoy speaking to neuroscience,
and studying it, and then trying to articulate it
in plain English.
So I've talked to John Medina at the University of Washington.
Great book called "Brain Rules-- How Persuasion Works."
And he introduced a lot of these concepts, where
he talks about how dopamine is like a stamp on your brain
that makes you pay attention.
So when you have this rush of chemicals,
cortisol, mostly though, dopamine put and oxytocin--
and Paul Zak is studying oxytocin-- it forces your brain
to pay attention.
This is important.
There is a reason why you remember
where you were during certain big events, like a 9/11
or someplace like that.
You remember things because there's that rush of chemicals.
And so it's easier for you to remember.
So how do we take that kind and hijack the brain's processing
system so that they remember our ideas?
You can take this in almost any area.
People remember ideas for a specific reason.
There is a formula to this.
Just like Max Martin knows how to write a song that
gets stuck in your head, we know why ideas are memorable
and others are forgotten.
Of course, you got to have a good idea.
That's what Richard Branson said.
It's got to be a good idea.
So that is number one.
But if you can't communicate it, then it becomes a problem.
Sergey and Larry had a good idea.
AUDIENCE: I really liked when you
touched upon the modes of persuasion stuff.
AUDIENCE: The modes of persuasion, Aristotle, ethos,
pathos, and logos stuff.
I was wondering whether you could elaborate on it.
You said that the goal is to do more [INAUDIBLE]
and less of the other stuff.
But I was just wondering whether you could elaborate.
Because I found that was really interesting.
CARMINE GALLO: Well, apparently, years ago, up until 20
or 30 years ago, most people assumed
that we're rational beings.
So it was more about the data and the logic.
Whereas in the last 20 years or so, they're finding--
and Jonathan Haidt is doing a lot of research
into this-- that we think we're rational.
But our emotional side of the brain is much more powerful.
Which is why, when you have to persuade somebody of something,
you want to convince them of something,
you need to have both.
That's why I think Bryan Stevenson, go watch his TED
It's phenomenal.
Because what it does, is he's very persuasive.
By the end of 15 minutes, you're ready to buy into his idea,
even if you're pretty defensive about it.
It's amazing.
He's very persuasive.
And he wins cases before the US Supreme Court.
He knows how to persuade.
But 65% % of his public presentations are more heavy
on emotion, 25% data.
So you got to have a balance.
And I think we're seeing that in our political campaigns too.
There's some people who are really
good at getting your attention and triggering emotions.
So I think it applies in everything,
from political campaigns to business.
AUDIENCE: Could you talk a bit more about what emotions
you appeal to, and how you set up a story so it
flips that switch, if you will?
CARMINE GALLO: Apparently, in storytelling, tension
is everything-- tension and conflict.
There has to be some kind of conflict.
Titanic has to hit an iceberg.
So you need to have the conflict in Act Two.
If there isn't a conflict, then the audience
doesn't have anyone to rally around.
We want Jack and Rose to be saved.
And we want them to be saved in "Titanic,"
only after we get to know them.
So that's the structure.
You need to be able to get to know the characters so you
feel empathy for the characters involved.
Then you have to introduce a conflict.
And that conflict better have a happy ending and a resolution
So it's a pretty basic structure.
But those are the two things that you absolutely
need in every good story.
You need a back story.
We need to get to know the characters
a little bit so that we feel empathy for the characters.
And then there has to be a pretty significant--
what Paul Zak calls the-- trigger
event, which is that conflict.
And so if you can get your audience nodding in agreement,
going yeah, yeah, that's the problem I have.
I have that problem.
Then you're going to hook them.
That's what we call the hook.
Just like the chorus in "Cheerleader."
That's what we call the hook.
It works remarkably well, remarkably well.
I cannot tell you over the years,
of how many business presentations I've either seen
or I've worked with at a lot of major companies-- LinkedIn,
Microsoft, SanDisk, Intel, many--
where when we create something like this and then we go back
and we see what was the most memorable part of that
presentation, what resonated with people.
People come back, like, two years later
at the same conference and tell the executive,
I liked that part in that presentation
you gave two years ago.
It's always the story.
Always the story.
Nobody ever remembers oh yeah, I loved that slide 32.
That was great.
Yeah, and the chart on slide 32?
But they always remember the story, always.
That's why I'm getting into this idea, where
I am very emphatic about it.
I'm saying, this is the hook.
A songwriter knows what works.
That's why he can keep turning out hit after hit.
We know what works too.
We know what works when you're delivering a presentation.
AUDIENCE: I have a question about telling
personal stories--
Now, your father is a data scientist, right?
AUDIENCE: Computer science professor.
CARMINE GALLO: Computer science.
And he tells stories?
AUDIENCE: He does.
I love that.
AUDIENCE: Telling stories in the classroom
is very important to him.
AUDIENCE: I've noticed that when people tell personal stories,
they generally fall into one of two frames.
There's the this-is-how-I'm-special angle.
And then there's the this-is-how-we're-alike angle.
Can you comment on which of those-- is one of them
superior to the other?
Do they both have a place?
CARMINE GALLO: Well, let's not get too
hung up on the personal stories.
AUDIENCE: I guess any stories?
Because for TED, the personal stories work pretty well.
Because it is a more intimate environment.
In business, I like the case studies.
You know, real stories of real people who are helped
or whose world is made better by your idea, by your service.
Those are the stories that resonate in business.
And very few business presentations-- at least
that I see- are heavy in narrative.
They don't tell those stories.
It's all fact without being supported by the stories.
You know who's really good at this now,
is Bill and Melinda Gates.
They're fantastic storytellers now.
Like, every time they have the new Gates newsletter, which
comes out every year and talks about their philanthropy
efforts, Melinda is a better storyteller than Bill.
Bill's still a little factual.
He's very simple though.
He does a good job.
But Melinda likes going into the stories.
So she uses the data.
But she always starts with very personal stories.
And sometimes they're personal.
But they're more about other people.
It's more of a personal experience she had.
But let me tell you about a woman in this part of Africa
who I spent a few days with, and her and her family.
So it's kind of about Melinda, but not really.
She kind of shifts it off and talks about the other person.
So I think the case studies, but inserting yourself into a case
study is very powerful.
AUDIENCE: Do you have any advice on how to use storytelling
in job interviews when you have very little time,
and you have to kind of sell yourself?
You have to do it in job interviews.
I have so many interesting stories
of people who have emailed me.
One young man emailed me not too long ago, just
a few months ago, working at a startup in San Francisco.
I'm sure you're all familiar.
They do the coding classes now, right?
Those coding programs.
DAVE MARX: The boot camps.
CARMINE GALLO: Yeah, the boot camps.
So that was his first coding boot camp.
And so he didn't have a lot of technical experience.
But he was a really good communicator.
He studied the science of story.
And how to tell better stories.
So he walked into an interview.
And he told stories about his previous job,
of where they had a particular problem.
And he told those stories of how he overcame those problems.
And then he applied what he had learned to that company,
and what he had learned about this new company.
So that doesn't take long.
Even in a 15-minute job interview,
that took about two minutes.
But here's the end of that story.
Here's the conclusion.
The reason why the young man emailed me, he said,
Carmine, you wouldn't believe it.
I doubled my salary.
They hired me two days later.
He interviewed on a Friday.
They hired him on a Monday.
Doubled my salary.
And they told them specifically, you
don't have the technical experience.
Because you just took this one coding class.
There are plenty of job candidates
who have more technical experience than you do.
But nobody could communicate our story,
our company story, as well as you can.
So to me, what we just talked about, that's big.
This is really important for career advancement.
Yeah, really important.
Thanks for asking.
Well, look, I'll be around.
And I'd love to sign some books and meet you, if you'd like.
Great, thank you.
DAVE MARX: One more round of applause for Carmine.
Yeah, thank you.
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Carmine Gallo: "The Storytellers Secret" | Talks at Google

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Amy.Lin published on April 22, 2018
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