Content Marketing World: Regina Brett God's Storyteller
I’ve never cried at a business conference, but Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist and author of God Never Blinks just had me in tears. Regina tells stories the old fashion way – with words. I could never have guessed how appropriate the title of Regina’s talk Emotion and Storytelling: Growing Your Small Business/Non-Profit by Pulling Heartstrings” at Joe Pulizzi’s Content Marketing World (September 7 and 8 at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel) would be.
Regina is a fellow cancer survivor. “If cancer took me tomorrow I feel like I’ve told my story,” she said explaining how 50 Lessons From Life's Little Detours was born over her editor’s objections. “They didn’t want to run the article,” she explained. Her Plain Dealer article was a huge hit. Article becomes book, book springs legs and walks around the world and now there are translations in Chinese, Lithuanian and many other languages. Apparently even great content editors need to be reminded of one of my favorite Hollywood quotes by Academy Award winning screenwriter William Goldman, “Nobody knows nothing.”
Regina Brett knows how to tell stories. Tears came to my eyes the first time hearing about her hard working father who, though dead for years, still lives in Regina’s mind and now in the imagination of the several hundred attending her story telling seminar. I share Regina’s list of tips, but I can’t convey the sense of connection and care after hearing such a life force. If Regina used PowerPoint I wouldn’t have listened nearly as hard or well. I know Regina’s life, her father, grandchildren and grandmother. Regina’s stories are unique and universal. She and they are very special. Regina’s story telling tips:
- Aim High - if you have one word to describe you what is it?
- Be Original - find life's poetry and share it.
- Be Specific - magic is in the details.
- Circle The Wagons - tell stories from many perspectives.
- Find The Human Face - all stories need a face, a "gotcha" there's the story moment
- Choose the right words and you don't need a lot of them.
- Listen with your whole heart.
- Know Your Audience - your audience is always 1 person, who is your 1 person. Regina wrote for her father.
- Use All 5 Senses - Feel, smell, touch, hear and taste the story.
- Show Don't Tell But Do So With Words - Regina didn't use slides!
- Ideas Are Everywhere - Look at your organization from different perspectives. How does the janitor see you? Your next door neighbor?
- Tell Big Stories Small -What do we do at funerals? We tell stories.
- Leave Out All The Parts People Skip - get to the essence.