Principles of Great Storytelling

11 June 2019

With guest Kate Tellers - Master storyteller, podcast host, and director at The Moth


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Stories are the great unifier. When told well, they create a powerful connection to the human experience. No organization knows this better than The Moth. Since 1997, the nonprofit has shared more than 30,000 true personal stories in front of live audiences around the world. The Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour airs on more than 500 public radio stations, and The Moth Podcast is one of the world’s most listened-to podcasts. There’s even three critically acclaimed Moth books, the most recent of which debuted at #12 on The New York Times bestsellers list.

Kate Tellers is a master storyteller, host, and director of MothWorks at The Moth, a program that’s worked with companies like Google, Nike, and Ford to teach employees and executives how, through personal stories, they can communicate better, celebrate shared values, and connect with each other. Tellers joins the podcast to talk about the principles of Moth storytelling and why a great story can make us understand ourselves and empathize with others.

Listen to this episode to learn:

• The origin of The Moth and how this female-led organization has become such a beloved platform for storytelling

• Why vulnerability, authenticity, and transformation are the essential elements in a powerful story

• Why “specificity breeds universality” and other practical tips you can use to craft your next story

• Avoiding “And then, and then, and then…” and other storytelling don’ts

• How leaders like Melinda Gates and Al Gore effectively use stories to create change

• False vulnerability, misleading your audience, and whether we can avoid the “dark side” of storytelling

For more information:

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Photo by Jason Falchook