S. 2 Ep. 55 – How To Ignite Change Through Storytelling

Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Content & Graphic Design Manager - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Cece Payne

Cece Payne

Content & Graphic Design Manager - Follow us on social media to stay in the flow!
Technically Speaking S 2 Ep 55 - How To Ignite Change Through Storytelling with SpeakerFlow and Patti Sanchez

If there’s one topic the world of thought leadership can always learn more about, it’s storytelling. We should know – we’ve hosted several storytelling episodes in the past!

But one angle we haven’t looked at in-depth – and one that’s undeniably important – is how to use storytelling to drive change.

In other words, how do you use storytelling as part of a keynote, breakout, presentation, etc. to push your audience to act? How do you create change even after you’ve finished telling your story?

With these questions in mind, we’re joined in this episode by one of the foremost experts on storytelling, Patti Sanchez.

Patti is the Chief Strategy Officer for Duarte, Inc. with over 30 years of experience as a communicator and storyteller.

With the help of her team, she “helps leaders and learners of all kinds understand the inner workings of the human mind and heart and craft engaging narratives that resonate on a deep level,” including some of the biggest names in recent history such as brands like Salesforce and politicians like Al Gore.

Patti is also the author of Presenting Virtually: Communicate and Connect with Online Audiences and co-author of the award-winning book Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols with Nancy Duarte.

Suffice to say, there aren’t many people more qualified than Patti to speak on this subject.

We learned a ton in this episode, and we hope you do, too.

Watch the Podcast 👀

Listen to the Podcast 🎤

Show Notes 📓

✅ Check out Patti’s books, Illuminate and Presenting Virtually: https://www.amazon.com/Patti-Sanchez/e/B018F4RCW6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

✅ Learn more about Duarte Inc’s Presenting Virtually Online Course: https://www.duarte.com/presentation-training/ecourses/presenting-virtually/

✅ Learn more about Duarte’s Illuminate Instructor-Led Workshop: https://www.duarte.com/presentation-training/illuminate-virtual-workshop/

📷 Watch the video version of this episode and subscribe for updates on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYAr3nGy6lbXrhbezMxoHTSCS40liusyU

🎤 Thank you to our sponsor, Libsyn Studio (formerly Auxbus)! Want the best podcasting solution out there? Learn more here: https://www.libsynstudio.com/

🚀 And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/

Read the Transcription 🤓

Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking, we’re your hosts, Taylorr and Austin. And in today’s episode, we are talking about how to ignite change in your audiences through storytelling. Now, I know most of you listening to this aren’t strangers to the idea that stories are meant to ignite change and get people to take action and perform something, right? But it’s not always easy to, actually, pull that off, and we spend years of our lives learning how to communicate in a way that gets people to take action. 

So, we’ve covered this idea in the past, I’m sure many other podcasts you listen to also have covered this idea, so we knew we had to bring in the big guns. And so, in this episode we’re talking with Patti Sanchez, the chief strategy officer of Duarte, Inc, an organization with over 30 years of communications and storytelling history, and these folks work with some of the biggest brands on the planet. We’re talking the CEO of Salesforce and Al Gore; brands that need to ignite change inside of their audiences, and they have mastered the strategy, the frameworks, and the techniques to be able to ignite change and create movements within organizations and cultures. 

And so, in this episode, we’re unpacking all of those frameworks, all of those techniques, all of Patti’s background, and we learned so much in this episode and I, certainly, hope you do as well. Now, as always, stick around until the end for some awesome resources and we’ll see you in there. Look at us go, another podcast. After 100 times we still are excited that we made it all come together. So, Patti, welcome to the show, it’s great to have you here today.

Patti: Happy to be here, thanks for having me.

Taylorr: Yeah, for sure. Okay, so we like to do a little bit of research before we start our shows, get a sense of who you are and what you do and all of the standard things, at least I hope most hosts do. We like to dig a little deeper than, maybe, some folks might, not start at the surface level. So, we were on Duarte’s website, kind of, sifting through things and we saw the word Giraffirmation. So, can you help us understand what that is, what that’s about?

Patti: Start with a story. Yeah. So, Duarte’s a company I work for and we have a mascot, the mascot is a giraffe and there’s a longer history to the choosing of the giraffe, but, essentially, it emerged from the culture as one employee wanted to celebrate another employee for working, really, hard and thanked them. So, they went to a store, they bought a little statue of a giraffe, and then they came back and they put it on that employee’s desk and said, Hey, thanks for pulling that all-nighter and helping me out. And that became a ritual. Anytime you wanted to appreciate someone, you would pass them this giraffe physically in the office. 

Well, what we realized, first of all, is when we went virtual, that that’s, kind of, hard to do. I’m going to rack up a lot of postal expenses.

Taylorr: Right?

Patti: We had had to come up with a way to appreciate each other virtually, but also a few years ago, we realized that little ritual had a lot of significance to it, that it should be elevated into a more significant part of our culture. And so, we decided to christen that action Giraffirmation, the act of affirming someone, thanking someone by giving them a giraffe. And now in our team meetings and just in virtual gatherings, we’ll pass a virtual giraffe to the other person that we want to appreciate.

Taylorr: Wow, I love that. I love how unique that is. Yeah.

Patti: It is. It is pretty unique. And our founder, Nancy Duarte, she also did some research on giraffes and found other qualities that they have that are similar to the values and behaviors that we want to see in our employees. Giraffes have, really, large hearts and they congregate together and they enjoy each other’s company, they communicate through their own special language, and so that’s why we celebrate it as our symbol.

Taylorr: Amazing.

Austin: Wow. Man, that’s so fun. I love little gestures like that, that bring people together too. Just the nature of business is that it’s very transactional and I think we’re moving into a newer culture, just, generally, speaking around business, where we’re starting to factor in that personal touch a lot more. Especially with Covid, the lines got very blurred in that time between business and home life and the rest of it and, obviously, boundaries are important, but in some ways, I think it’s important to remember the humanity that goes into running a business. 

We’re all just people and that’s the nature of business, people working with people, and so this is, really, a celebration of that, and so props to you. We, actually, have a similar practice, although, it’s admittedly less fun, Taylorr, we need to go back a little bit.

Taylorr: For real, I was going to say, yeah.

Austin: Yeah. We do core value coffee. So, when somebody on our team demonstrates one of the core values of Speaker Flow you get a Starbucks gift card, go pick out your thing and that’s fun. But you’ve, really, taken that to the next step, and so I respect you for that. Duarte is [Inaudible – 5:08].

Taylorr: We need our own giraffe.

Patti: It’s part of our culture, obviously, to recognize people, but the underlying value is to demonstrate empathy because it is, we believe, the foundation for effective communication. It’s not just about you and your idea and how great you are at communicating it, but you, really, need to understand the audience that you’re communicating to, what matters to them, tailor what you say and how you say it so that it will resonate with them. Giraffirmation is just another mechanism for us to, as you said, see the humanity in another person to celebrate that and I think great communication does that too.

Taylorr: Awe, man, I’m so glad you brought that empathy word up. Austin and I were, we were, really, appreciating your guys’ website and I think we talked a lot about it before the show, but it’s beautiful, guys, go check it out; links are in the show notes. We’ve had, naturally, because we’re in this industry, we’ve had the presentation and stagecraft communication conversation before and I think it’s, kind of, a general rule of thumb that one of the first things you want to do is understand your audience. And so, the people that we’ve brought on or the research we’ve done will say, yeah, know your audience, know your audience, know your audience. 

And I think one of the key words that we saw on your website for that step in the equation is empathize, and we thought that was such a good way of phrasing that, because it’s deeper than just knowing them, it’s like, really, feeling the audience and knowing how to tailor your work to them. So, anyway, I just wanted to highlight that again, it’s, really, cool that you guys chose that word, empathize. It feels like it’s a layer deeper than what the standard is that we hear in the presentation crafting world.

Patti: that’s what we aim for. Deep impacting transformation.

Taylorr: Heck, yeah.

Austin: Yeah. Well, you guys, really, live that, we respect it and this fits into the larger Duarte method, which we’re, really, excited to talk to you about and unpack a little bit more. But before we get there, not all of our listeners may be familiar with you and/or Duarte, so can you just give us a little bit of background about who you are and what you do and what Duarte does?

Patti: Yeah, sure. Well, I’m a communication strategist by training, which means I help people figure out what they want to say, how they should say it, so that it will have the impact that they wanted to have. And I do that at a company called Duarte, which is a communication consulting and training firm. And we work with organizations and individuals in a couple of different ways; we have what we call our agency, which was a creative services agency that, essentially, works one-on-one or with teams in very large brands to help them communicate effectively, often in one big moment. Whether it’s a major event or a big keynote or sales pitch situations where people need to make that, really, high impact and we help them craft that communication. 

Then we have the academy, which is where we teach people how to do it themselves. And my focus these days, I started on the agency side and that was my background in my whole career, but a couple of years ago, I moved over to the academy at Duarte. And so, now my emphasis is on building frameworks and models, tools, ultimately products like training programs that help people build that capability in themselves and in their teams and in their organizations.

Taylorr: Wow.

Austin: So, it’s well said. I guess I’m not surprised that talking to a communications expert, you’re able to very succinctly and clearly explain what you do. So, right out of the gates.

Taylorr: Practicing what you preach.

Austin: Great job.

Taylorr: Awesome, love that.

Austin: Practicing what you preach.

Patti: I know that from practice, that’s also the case.

Austin: Yeah, well, that makes sense. That’s so cool that you’re, sort of, servicing this too, because I know on the Duarte website you have your showcase tab and there are names there like Salesforce and Al Gore, and these are not small names. And so, I imagine there’s a segment of the population that may desperately need what you do, but may not be at the level where, ah, maybe, it makes sense to be bringing you in for this full-service thing. 

And so, I can, sort of, I’m assuming here, so correct me, steer me from the rocks if I’m wrong here, but you’re making this a more approachable thing for somebody that may not have the resources necessary to bring you in on an agency level or, maybe, are looking for the tool sets to be able to do this on an ongoing basis for themselves and, maybe, not a one off thing. Am I, kind of, going along the right lines here as to why you decided to bring out this, sort of, sector to the business?

Patti: Yeah, you’ve figured me out. You’ve, totally, returned our ambition.

Austin: Call me Sherlock Holms.

Patti: Yeah, you nailed it. Yeah. What training is, is more scalable than consulting. You can reach more people more repeat-ably with a productized offering like a training program. And we do serve everything from large organizations to midsize organizations to smaller organizations and individuals through the academy. We have programs that are more affordable entry-level for individuals, and then we have more robust comprehensive learning journeys for teens in organizations as well.

Taylorr: Yeah. Heck, yeah, that’s super cool. So, obviously, you’re very passionate about what you do, you’ve been doing, at least from what we’ve read, 30 years in the communications world, is that right?

Patti: That would be about right, yeah.

Taylorr: Wow.

Austin: Duarte’s been in business over 30 years as well, but I haven’t been here my whole career, I’ve been here about 11 years. But, yes, prior to that, yeah, I’ve been in Silicon Valley my whole career for over three decades. And have had the privilege to be able to work with a lot of, really, big organizations, a lot of executives that are famous, sometimes outside of Silicon Valley, sometimes they’re only known here. But it, really, taught me a lot about how hard it is to communicate clearly, how hard it is to communicate in a way that is memorable. And it’s good because it’s job security for me.

Taylorr: Yeah. That is a very good thing. Yeah. Which I was, actually, you, kind of, started heading in this direction, I think with that, but for you, personally, what’s the magic in communication and storytelling, what excites you about that? Because somebody doesn’t stay doing that thing for three decades without being, really, excited about it. So, what magic do you see in communication and storytelling?

Patti: It’s going to sound grand, but it changes people. And earlier in my career I did a lot of more traditional marketing communication, all of the different media and channels. We did some advertising in the previous agency I was in and a lot of sales enablement and all those, sort of, channels that marketers communicate through. But I came to love presentations the most, because they’re the place in time where people, really, come together and connect with each other. I can see an ad by myself and it can create a little feeling in me and make me want to go click through and go to the website and learn something, but I’m not interacting with human at that point. 

And a lot of our other channels are, especially digital ones, you’re not talking to a person, but when it comes down to a presentation, that’s the moment in, say the buying process, when the buyer wants to meet the seller face-to-face, even if it’s virtual, and say, Do I trust you enough to put my company in your hands, to risk my money and my time on you? So, it’s, really, important that, that moment of communication is, it’s not just persuasive, but that trust is built there and that people are influenced enough to take that next step, not just in the buying process, but to say, I’m signing now, I’m committing now. 

And our philosophy about presentations is that when they’re done well, they, actually, change the audience. Your goal is not just to convey an idea to inform them, it’s to inspire them, to motivate them, to move them to think differently, to feel differently and behave differently. And that’s what our method is about, is constructing that, kind of, communication that, really, moves them from where they are to where you want them to be. And if you do that from a place of empathy, it’s good for them too. Because you’re helping them succeed.

Austin: Yeah, man, it’s well said. Maybe it sounds a little bit cliché when I say it, but I’m going to say it anyway. When Taylorr and I first were introduced to the industry of professional speaking, that was, really, one of the main attractors for us, outside of the fact that it’s a very lucrative business model, and that’s wonderful in and of itself. I also would say it’s, probably, the best marketing vehicle on the planet, because you can be paid to go to your marketing in a lot of instances, which is, maybe, the only time that that’s the case. But, yeah, getting up on stage gives you, to some degree, influence you. You, really, can change the world, as you said it, and that’s a powerful thing, so I resonate with that, at least from that specific angle. So, good on you.

Patti: And I have a personal connection to that in how I decided to get into this field was the direct result of a speech I heard when I was a teenager in high school. Yeah. Well, we’re going to go into a lot of detail about my life story, but I was one of the, what sometimes people call a high-risk kid. I was making bad choices, living a fast lifestyle as a teenager and I ended up going to what’s called a continuation high school in California, it might have a different label in other places. That’s a place where kids who are struggling and might not finish school get an extra level of support and they have smaller class sizes and more, kind of, a mentoring model between the students and the teachers. 

And so, anyway, one day we had an assembly and a speaker came to talk to us and his name was Fred [Krotz -14:58] and he told us his life story. And, essentially, what it was, was he also had been a high-risk kid, made some bad choices, but the worst choice landed him in jail, in prison, so he spent much of his life in prison. And he told us that story and it was, kind of, a classic scared straight, sort of, situation; the point was, don’t be me, and that’s what you call in story, a cautionary tale. But it was a speech that he delivered it in. 

And I remember sitting in the auditorium listening to him speak at 17 or whatever and thinking, I don’t want to choose that path in life, so point taken, thank you very much, but also this is a thing you can do with your life, because you could just walk around.

Taylorr: You’re learning about the meta level.

Patti: Travel and give talks.

Taylorr: Yeah.

Patti: That’s amazing, I would like to be a motivational speaker. And I didn’t, really, end up, I don’t think of myself as that, but it started me on this trajectory of going down the path of the spoken word. And I studied PR in college and they made me give tons of speeches, and so I started to fall in love with the medium and become, really, passionate about helping other people get better at it.

Austin: Man, that’s so cool.

Taylorr: Great story.

Austin: Thank you for sharing that personal story too, that’s powerful. And wow, it, really, led to a lifetime, maybe obsession is not the right word, but you’ve, really, focused in on this area, so it clearly made an impact, it speaks to what can happen, right? That’s the point right there, is that it can move people. That’s powerful.

Patti: Absolutely. And I think when people have that solid foundation of learning how to communicate well, that they too have that potential, no matter where you sit, what your topic is, what your background is, when you have the power of the mic, it does help you move people.

Taylorr: That’s awesome.

Austin: Man, that’s so true.

Taylorr: Yeah, we were on your, well, of course, poking around, and one of the things, really, stood out to us about the work that you all do is you have so many different methods and frameworks and ways for understanding how to do this work that you guys specialize in. And I think you mentioned it earlier in the show, but the Duarte method seemed, kind of, like the core, maybe, method that you guys use to help people communicate better. Can you shed some light on what that is and unpack that for us?

Patti: Yeah, for sure. Well, the way that we think of it, is it’s, kind of, like a stool with three legs, sometimes I say it’s a chair with four legs because I had a fourth component to it, but it describes the disciplines that you need to get good at to give a great speech, give a great presentation, and it applies to all forms of communication. But, really, it’s about having great content, which storytelling helps you craft. And it’s about having, really, impactful visuals, which is about applying design thinking to support messages that you’re articulating. And then, the third leg is delivery, it’s being able to articulate those ideas, really, confidently, clearly in the moment when you’re speaking to that audience. 

The fourth leg that I add sometimes is strategy, which is, really, the beginning of the process, for me, is, as we talked about before, understanding your audience, but also being very clear on your goals, what you want to achieve with this piece of communication and where you want to move them to by the time you’re done talking. But also being clear in your messaging, what exactly do you need to say to cause that change in them? And then you craft that using storytelling principles, that’s what we teach in our training and that will make your information, your messages more interesting, more memorable and more persuasive. 

And then you support that with visuals that are clear, impactful, relevant to the content you’re communicating, but also accessible to your audience. And then, once you have those great words, great visuals, practice how you speak to them so that you bring them to life for people, but you also put your best foot forward as a communicator.

Taylorr: That’s great. I love how simple that is.

Austin: Right. Well, it, really, elucidates the reason why this is called a craft too, stage craft is, sort of, the term that gets thrown around and it is, you’re combining all of these different but related skill sets together to create this thing that’s greater than the sum of its parts, so to speak, and that’s, yeah, that’s powerful. And I imagine when you have a client coming your direction, there are a mix of things that they’re naturally, or through practice or whatever, already good at, to some degree or another, obviously, always room for improvement. But do you find that there’s one of those legs on the stool or chair that people tend to struggle with more on average than another?

Patti: I’m going to say everybody is different and has their room challenge, but I do think a lot of times when people are told your presentations are bad or you’re not a good presenter, they go to slides first. They think about PowerPoint or Google Slides or Keynote, whatever application they’re using and how can they make those slides better. And that often is the source of some pretty crappy communication. You have slides that are just crammed with content, they’re very busy, we see a lot of that for sure in business to business communication, and that is not kind to your audience. 

It can confuse them, so you, definitely, need to simplify your slides and make the visuals clearer, but many times those slides are busy, messy, unclear, because the thinking is messy and unclear. The content is messy and unclear, and so a lot of times I’ll back people up and say, well, tell me what you’re trying to get across with this slide. What’s the main point? And we counsel people that you should have one idea per slide, because your audience can only consume one idea at a time; what is the point you’re trying to make with this chart right here? Or what’s the issue you’re trying to illustrate with that diagram? 

Help me understand that, get clear about that, and then you can start to peel away the things that are just creating noise, as Nancy Duarte talks about it, their signal and noise. So, the more crap is on your slides, the more that creates noise that confuses your audience, detracts from your main message, so get clear about what you want to say, and that is true overall, but also slide by slide by slide.

Taylorr: Oh, I love that. Yeah. Austin, we’ve, probably, seen our fair share of crammed slides, huh?

Austin: I’ve made my fair share of crammed slides.

Taylorr: No, yeah.

Austin: So, for sure, yes.

Taylorr: I was like, all right, I’m going to go redo everything.

Austin: Absolutely.

Taylorr: It’s a good reminder, though, it’s pretty easy to lean, really, heavy on the content and that’s not always what they need, they just need one idea with a story to back it up, and then move it on to the next thing. And bite-sized information is the easiest for us to retain not a bunch of, yeah, there’s only so much time in a presentation, right? We’re 30, 60 minutes, let’s say, on average, and we can’t be cramming slides full of content and expecting all of that to be uptake, nor do we want it to look like we’re leaning on the content to portray the thing we’re talking about, because it might seem, again, to your point that might be, kind of, messy thinking, right?

Patti: Right, right. And, as you said too, people can start to rely on their slides like a crutch or that.

Taylorr: Sure.

Patti: Now that becomes a barrier between them and the audience. And so, you should challenge yourself, if you’re struggling to communicate an idea, first try to communicate it in words alone, and don’t rely on the slides. Because if you can do that, then your audience will, really, understand you then, and the visual should just amplify what you’re saying, it should just reinforce what you’re saying, but you can’t rely on that alone. And in some cases, slides don’t even make sense, they’re just a distraction, especially if I’m having a one-on-one conversation with a customer at a, really, key moment in the relationship; I need to be able to relate to you as a human being without that barrier between us.

Taylorr: Yeah. It can almost feel impersonal, you know?

Patti: Yeah.

Taylorr: So many sales conversations where it’s like, well, a deck, really, is not the thing you needed here, so I can, personally, relate to that one.

Patti: Do people make life, relationship commitments over PowerPoint? Somebody, probably, does. Maybe in my company.

Austin: Okay. So, Patti, one of the things that we noticed when we were, again, doing some digging, so we always do some research, okay.

Patti: Every time you say that I’m scared, I’m so frightened.

Austin: No, don’t be.

Taylorr: No, I think it’s okay.

Austin: We’re in your zone of genius at this point of the episode, I think. So, we do some digging every time we do any, sort of, episode, and most of the time it segues into us just, naturally, finding a train of thought Taylorr and I want to go down. But we ran into an obstacle when we were researching Duarte and you, because there’s so much good stuff, it’s like I don’t need to be creative at all, I’m just fascinated by this. So, one of the things that, really, caught my attention when I was digging, was this idea of venture scape that came out of some research that you were doing on cultural business movements, from what I understand. 

And I think this ties into some of what we’re talking about here, maybe, we’re doubling back on it since I’m not, totally, familiar with the venture scape model, but can you, sort of, give us an idea of what that is and why that’s important at Duarte?

Patti: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we teach story, as I was saying, that’s one of the crafts that we teach people to use when communicating, and that is a way to structure your communication into three acts, the basic definition of stories; you meet a likable hero who encounters roadblocks, they overcome those roadblocks and they emerge transformed. And when you structure your communication using storytelling principles and story structure, it makes that more entertaining to your audience, more memorable, more compelling, all of those things. 

Well, about six years ago, Nancy and I got to wondering how can story be used to affect change on a larger level? Not just to change an audience’s opinion during one moment in time during a single speech or presentation, but over time. And we were asked, really, by our customers to figure that out, because we had leaders coming to us saying, Look, I do have a, really, big idea, as you say I should have a clear, big idea, but it’s a, really, big, big, big, big idea and it’s going to need a movement of support around it. And so, we, kind of, looked at each other just dumbfounded like, what’s a movement and how do you make one happen? We were smarter than that, but it made us curious, very curious.

Austin: Yeah.

Patti: So, we did spend about four years doing research into movements of all kinds in business and society, and think about a movement as being something like a social change initiative, Civil Rights movement for instance, and Black Lives Matter movement. And there are all kinds of movements in culture that happen, but there are also equivalents to that in business, which are transformation efforts, a good company has to turn itself around or undergoes a major top to bottom change over the course of a few years. And after that research, we discovered that those, kinds of, movements, that, kind of, change, actually, does follow a common pattern, and it turns out it mirrors the structure of a story. 

Because a story has three acts and the change also, as you might expect, has a beginning, a middle, and an end. But change also follows the shape of a story because story is about change in and of itself. When we use story in our lives, a lot of times it’s to talk about something that happened to us and how we overcame it. And that same mechanism can be used to motivate people to embrace change in a bigger way, so we describe that shape as a venture scape in the book Illuminate that we wrote together. And it has five stages organized into those three acts, so in the beginning of a change journey, if you, really, want to get people to do something big, first you communicate your dream, that’s when you express your vision; there’s a vision talk, right? 

I’m going to stand up on stage and I’m going to say, this is my big idea, this is what I want all of us to do. And in organizations, a lot of times leaders think their job is done then; I just have a, really, great vision talk and afterward I was going to say, Well, obviously, we need to make this happen, so let’s go do it. And it happens. But what they don’t realize is that is, actually, just the beginning of the change journey for everyone else who, actually, has to make the change happen, the next stage in the beginning we call the leap phase. Which is when people who are following you, whether they’re inside your business or in your community, have a choice about whether they want to make that leap of faith and say, Yeah, that sounds like a, really, good idea, and I know it sounds hard, but I’m in, I’m all in and I’m going to help you. And the quality of your communication directly affects whether they say yes or no.

If you communicate well, then they’ll leap in, and then you enter the middle of the change journey, that second act, which is made up of the fight and climb stages. And that is the equivalent to when we’re hearing a story about a hero encounters roadblocks.

Taylorr: Yeah.

Patti: That’s just what happens in change too. So, people say, Yeah, I’m all in, I, really, love that vision. I want to grow the company 10x. I want us to move into this new market. But as you try to do that stuff gets hard. You encounter all kinds of obstacles inside the business; your technology is not up to the task or your processes are outdated, or people just have these old mindsets that get in the way. Or you encounter external obstacles like your competitors saying, All right, well, it’s on, now we’re going to start attacking you. Or your customers saying, this is a bad idea or I don’t want this thing. 

And you have to continue to motivate people through story to feel courageous enough to feel capable of overcoming these obstacles, and the more they overcome those obstacles, the closer they climb to your goal, they get little wins. And you can use story also to celebrate those wins and to remind people why it’s important to keep slogging forward. Because this dream that you’re all aiming for is worth the effort. And then, the third act of that change journey is what we call the Arrive Stage, where you have to, sort of, mark the end of that change journey, even if you failed or you didn’t completely achieve your goal. 

What you need to do, what people need from you, if you’re being empathetic, is they need you to say, So, here’s what happened. We set that goal, turns out we missed it the end of this year, so we’re going to change our strategy for next year, or we’re going to reset the goal for next year, but let’s celebrate what we did, actually, accomplish and let’s learn some lessons from the things we failed at and tell stories about that so that we are getting all the good out of this journey, we’re all learning from it. And we have a chance to process what we went through before we rush off and do the next thing. 

So, that venture scape is, it describes, sort of, that journey of change, but also we give tools in the book for communication. What type of communication should you use at each stage to move people through it in a way that meets their emotional needs? Not just their intellectual needs. They need to hear the right thing, but they also need to be able to feel the right thing at that moment.

Taylorr: Man, comes right back into that.

Austin: The power of story factors in, right? That’s the beautiful thing of story, it lets you feel, it’s not just the logic or the reason.

Taylorr: That’s right.

Austin: It connects.

Taylorr: Yeah.

Patti: It does, and we’re feeling animals. As much as we hate to admit it, we like to think that we decide rationally based on information. That’s what the science tells us. There’s plenty of data, we see the facts, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe in facts, don’t hear that. Facts matter. We should make decisions based on facts, but the truth is that in our minds, we often feel first and rationalize second. 

So, we have a feeling, yes, I want to do this, or, no, I don’t want to do this. I’m scared, I’m excited. And then we try to explain to ourselves why that is true. Well, I’m scared because that’s a bad idea and, therefore, I reject it. Or I’m excited because it’s a great idea and, therefore, I support it. Where the limbic system, our reptilian brain is stronger and older than the prefrontal cortex, so we’re going to feel first and then think next.

Taylorr: Wow. Patti, I just feel like I leveled up so much as a business owner and a person and somebody in this world. Holy. Austin, how are you feeling over there, man?

Austin: Oh, man. I feel like I should go lock myself in a cabin for a little while.

Taylorr: Seriously.

Austin: An then listen to this again 50 times, and then go download every. Okay, look, so we’re, probably, going to talk about this here in just a second, but I cannot go on without pointing out the fact that everything that we just talked about here, well, to some degree or another is covered on the Duarte website, and it is unbelievable. I, seriously, was blown away by what, so, anyway. How I’m feeling, Taylorr, to answer your question is inspired and informed and also ready to go and dig deeper.

Taylorr: Take some action.

Austin: In all of these things.

Taylorr: Yeah, that’s right.

Austin: Because holy crap.

Taylorr: Illuminate.

Austin: Patti, you just changed my life.

Taylorr: There it is. Heck, yeah.

Patti: Now, go do it for someone else.

Taylorr: There, all right, we’ll do our best. I love that mission. Patti, this has been an awesome show, thank you so much for coming on. As you know, you’ve created a ton of value for our listeners here today. If someone wants to learn more, what are you working on right now? Where can they go to get their hands on all of this stuff?

Patti: Well, thank you for mentioning the Duarte website because that is, definitely, the place that you should go check out. It’s www.duarte, D U A R T E.com and you’re going to find a lot of resources there, a lot of free resources, things to watch, things to read, and we have books, and I’m not even just going to plug my books, read anything Nancy Duarte has ever written, watch her TED Talk. Think you just got your mind blown today, go watch the TED Talk, and then.

Taylorr: That’s a big one.

Patti: Clean your brains off the walls, because it’s going to explode your head with brilliance.

Taylorr: Clean your brains off the walls, I think that’s a first one and what a beautiful way to end a beautiful episode. If you guys like this one.

Austin: It might not look pretty, but you won’t forget it, probably.

Taylorr: Heck, yeah, I love it. I love it. Well, guys, if you like this episode, don’t forget to rate it, like it, subscribe to it, and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources.

Austin: Bye, everyone.

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