What's Your Story: How Leaders Tell Stories to Influence and Connect with Audiences

What's Your Story: How Leaders Tell Stories to Influence and Connect with Audiences

What's Your Story is a podcast dedicated to helping business leaders use storytelling to improve the impact of spoken communications within their organizations. If you’re looking to learn communication and storytelling strategies, as well as best practices from leadership and talent development experts, this is the show for you. Each episode features an interview with an executive or thought leader, discussing topics like: effective storytelling, executive presence, influencing others, corporate communication, leadership and talent development and more. The What's Your Story podcast is hosted by Sally Williamson and brought to you by SW&A.

Episodes

June 13, 2022 37 min

Small businesses have gotten a lot of visibility over the last two years. As the world slowed down and dealt with a pandemic, we were more aware of the businesses on the corner that weren’t focused on five-year plans but were focused on next months’ payroll to survive. It brought front and center a look at how small businesses work and interestingly, as the world reset, it seemed to inspire a whole new culture of entrepreneurs and ...

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Social distancing is a term that took hold during the pandemic as a descriptive way of creating boundaries from each other. But after two years of distancing and now going back to offices and social settings with colleagues and friends, social distance may take on new meaning. At a minimum, the re-engagement in groups feels awkward at first. We’ve forgotten some of the social norms and feel a little rusty at small talk. In a corpor...

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October 1, 2021 35 min

Every day, we talk to people about practice. And we explain that to become effective at communication, you have to work at becoming good at it. And we define mastery of a skill as those who become so good at a skill that you can count on their performance and outcome consistently.

And once you begin to talk about performance and outcomes, it’s easy to draw a parallel between mastery of a skill like communication and mastery of spor...

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In the last year, millions of workers took early retirement, which created a band of less-experienced managers and leaders in most companies. It’s a great career opportunity and accelerated promotions for several managers. But it also pushes a less-experienced leader to learn how to drive while the car is moving, and it can create risks within a company when someone is leading who doesn’t have a bank of experiences to draw on.

That...

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April 15, 2021 39 min

This episode's topic is The Big Pitch. And it’s a discussion of one of the most important presentations you may ever give. It has a definitive and measurable impact. It’s rarely shared with a large audience. And while the audience may be small, they are a critical one. Because their interest and reaction to the presentation may change the future of a company. And in fact, that’s actually the point. Today, we’re going to talk ab...

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Disruption happens every day across the corporate world. As employees, we experience reorgs, layoffs and acquisitions, and as disrupters ourselves we move cross country, chase ideas and challenge norms. But amidst all the disruption we all experience, some of us seem to thrive in times of turmoil.

These are the communicators who have mastered the two secret arts hidden within corporate disruption: learning how to establish a compel...

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Disruption happens every day across the corporate world. As employees, we experience reorgs, layoffs and acquisitions, and as disrupters ourselves we move cross country, chase ideas and challenge norms. But amidst all the disruption we all experience, some of us seem to thrive in times of turmoil.

These are the communicators who have mastered the two secret arts hidden within corporate disruption: learning how to establish a compel...

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Disruption happens a lot across the corporate world. Sometimes, from a company’s perspective through realigning functions. And sometimes by employees themselves as they make choices to try different things. But whether disruption is caused by a company or an individual, it’s occurring more frequently.

And from our vantage point, we see individuals who aren’t ready for it…and aren’t good at resetting around a challenge or an opportu...

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January 25, 2021 41 min

From a distance, you could assume that product creation and innovation is easy because it seems to happen quickly. But you’d be wrong. It actually requires an army of technologists and engineers to keep innovation moving and to deliver products in a speedy fashion. And they aren’t alone. Long before a product reaches a build phase, there are multiple steps to analyze a market, identify a need and propose a product against a market ...

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These days, we’re all exhausted. And it’s not just the physical tiredness of managing kids, virtual schooling, shifting work locations in a house, or balancing disruptions as our personal lives and workspace converge. It’s a mental tiredness and fatigue, and the effects are pretty dramatic.  

It’s a good thing that companies were already working on body and mind wellness. Wellness support and training has become an integral part of...

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As a leader, your brand, style, message of the company, and the company itself are intertwined. SW&A has coached several leaders and considered themselves the “wingman” for people in leadership positions. On this episode of What’s Your Story?, Sally talks with instructors Francie Schulwolf and Lia Panayotidis about their experience as The Wingman.

More about our guests

Francie Schulwolf: Francie’s focus is on developing strong,...

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Every communicator plays a significant role within an organization, but some of those roles get more visibility than others. Sales shares about customer insights, marketing relays their brand and product strategies, and something we’ve seen grow in the last five years, is that data security teams have become big communicators, with many CISO’s managing the communication to leadership teams and corporate Boards.

On this episode of W...

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March 24, 2020 45 min

As we focus on a pandemic around the world, we are all searching for information and for answers. On a personal level, we’re relying on our government and our media to share what’s happening. It’s an unprecedented topic and a new normal in our homes, schools and our lives.  But we also wonder about our professional lives. And companies have to interpret the impact of that new normal for employees.  In most companies, that calls up ...

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Innovation is king. But that doesn’t mean everyone understands it or knows how to leverage it. In fact, many view it as the silver bullet and the easy button that changes everything overnight. And that’s just not how it works. Innovation evolves step by step and can be years in the making before a viable product or concept can be leveraged. And that’s why companies invest in future technologies. On our latest episode of What’s Yo...

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We know storytelling’s place in the business world, but have you considered the role it plays in academic institutions across the nation? In our first episode of What’s Your Story?, Season 2, Sally speaks with Pete Wheelan of InsideTrack about how he uses storytelling alongside professional coaching, technology, and data analytics to increase the enrollment, completion, and career readiness of students.

More About Pete Wheelan

Pete...

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On today’s episode, we’re speaking with Patricia Martin of Cox Communications about the importance of effective storytelling and communication among technologists. Patricia also shares some insight into the impact good leaders can have on inspiring others.

More About Patricia Martin

Patricia Martin joined Cox Communications in 2005. In her time there, she has led several key initiatives at Cox, including the creation of the first n...

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On today’s episode, we’re speaking with Allison Ausband and Evia Golde about how Delta Airlines and United Way of Greater Atlanta are taking on one of Atlanta’s darkest topics, human trafficking, and brought it to life so the statistics became more than numbers. Allison and Evia also shared a few success stories that have come out of Delta’s #GetOnBoard training.

More About Allison Ausband

Allison Ausband is Senior Vice President–I...

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On today’s episode, we’re joined by a group of women who have learned the power of sisterhood in career. Through personal development, overcoming ego and fear, and integrating passion into their day to day life, these women have grown to cherish the powerful bonds between strong women who lift one another up rather than cut one another down through competition and cattiness. Today, they’ll teach us what they’ve learned on their way...

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On today’s episode, we’re speaking with Sarah Stansberry about how to take a disparate panel of marketing experts and integrate them into a cohesive team with common goals. Sarah discusses her seven tips for leaders to help guide teams through the use of shared principles and methods to open engagement and conversation. Sarah’s insight into storytelling expresses how the simple act of telling a story changes both the listener and t...

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Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Allison Hunt Eubanks about the LexisNexis CAM conference. How and why does a company host an event of this magnitude? How do they bring it all together, train their speakers, and generate a cohesive gathering? And what role does storytelling play in an event where attendees are meant to walk away with a message? Find out on today's episode!

More About Allison:

Allison Hunt Eubanks is...

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