As a consultant, my clients are split 50:50 between academics and entrepreneurs. So here, if you’ll allow for some massive generalisations*, are some broad cultural differences you should bear in mind if you’re an academic who wants to bridge the gap and work with an entrepreneur. 1/ Speed. The private sector works faster than academia. … More Academics and Entrepreneurs – mind the gaps
Have you ever wondered why it’s a good idea to start a presentation with a question? (See what I did there?) Ask an audience a good question and they start trying to answer it in their heads. We can’t help it, we are sense-making creatures. Immediately, you create a one-to-one connection with everyone in your … More Hooks and Stories in Presentations
The right kind of stories can help you talk about your work as designers, make stronger connections to customers and justify your “design thinking” approach to your stakeholders (who just want a solution to their problem now!) Part 1: stories about the design process. Part 2: stories about customers Part 3: stories for stakeholders There … More Stories Designers (Should) Tell
Ok, so you’re an expert in your field, but now you need to shout about your work. How do you pitch your ideas to a business? And how can you tell stories that explain your work to the widest possible audience? These notes were presented to Assistant Professors at Trinity College, Dublin in May 2019. … More Experts: Pitching & Storytelling
I had a lovely tweet from a former client: “2 years later, I’m still finding this useful”, he wrote, underneath a worksheet I’d sent him on how to tell TRUE Stories. You should try, I’d told him, to make your stories Timely, Relatable, Unexpected and Evocative if you want to grab people’s attention. Lately I’ve … More Why are “old words… best of all” when you need to relate to your audience?
I wondered about headlining this piece “how to be an expert in a post-fact world“, but I don’t think we’ve given up on facts just yet. We still need facts to navigate the world. But I think Experts sometimes see facts differently from the rest of us. Let’s try an experiment. I want you to read … More Facts and Values: how to be an Expert in a world obsessed with stories
So what were the biggest stories of 2018? Well, Brexit obviously, Trump probably and, I dunno, maybe North Korea? Serious stuff, big issues and yep, plenty of Google searches across the year.* But let’s throw in some alternatives: switch out North Korea for “Royal Wedding” and see what happens. Yep, Meghan and Harry’s big day massively … More 2018’s biggest stories: why did we love them?
I’m working on titles for my next book proposal – on storytelling. My would-be editor says I should look at TED talks, to see how their titles draw viewers in. Scanning a database of over 1,000 TED talks (titles and short blurb), I’ve spotted some themes. I’ll call them TED’s QUIRKS. Questions (and answers). How … More 1,000 TED talks later… here are some of their QUIRKS
Stop misusing jargon. Here’s how to write well with technical terms: 1. Introduce the jargon word for the first time 2. Explain it in everyday language 3. Carry on using it consistently This reassures expert audiences that you know what you’re talking about. You need to go one step further for non-expert audiences, and help them to SEE what you … More Jargon busting
Watch through these videos for the highlights of of the Innovation Stories Masterclass I gave for Accenture’s Dublin teams in August 2018. Thanks to Accenture for filming and releasing this footage. Now watch this example of a story arc in action from BBC’s Planet Earth series: So how can we use the rollercoaster of emotions in our … More Innovation Stories Video Masterclass – Accenture 2018