Many, many people have come up to me and told me that our recent offsite was the best they'd ever attended. And this is a very critical audience.
Not only was it a great idea to focus the training on storytelling, it was also a great idea to have you kick things off. You were terrific -- not just entertaining, but filled with useful stuff people needed to know. Top of my list:
Distinction between story mode and expository mode.
Importance of imagery.
You have to see an image to create an image.
In a story, one character does one thing at one time.
The role of the appreciative listener in getting the user to know what his/her story is about.
Switching between story mode and expository mode.
Focus on the Most Important Thing (MIT)
Leave out everything that doesn't contribute.
You tell the story differently depending on your intention.
These are all completely off the top of my head, which should give you an idea of (1) how ready we were to hear this and (2) how much of it stuck. Most important is that we now have a vocabulary to talk about these issues as we move forward, editors and analysts working together.
Several people came up afterwards and said (1) we should hire you for individual or small group sessions, which is how we use our speech coach, and (2) we should always have an outside expert kick off our off-sites. This indicates that you had a great deal of influence.
I took a big risk dragging the whole research team down to Newport to hear an outside expert -- a storyteller, no less! I'd been trying not to worry.
Now I feel completely vindicated -- and we have definitely created the chemical change in their brains. Things will be different, our writing and our speeches will be better, and our ability to influence people will improve, I believe.
P.S. Feel free to have anybody from the business community call me for a reference.