Disney Institute: Inspiring Creativity with StoryTelling

January 26, 2012

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Last week I flew from New York down to Orlando to, you guessed it, DISNEY WORLD!I had the opportunity to graphic record for Austin Brock from the Disney Institute. Austin has an amazingly rich visual language and practices what she preaches when speaking on the art of storytelling to Build a Business. I was excited to scribe for Austin, it seemed like a perfect match between her visual language and our visual storytelling!Disney Institute-Austin Brock 1o2In the presentation, Austin spoke to the importance of “storytelling your culture,” stating that the key is to connect experiences with your customers through sharing stories. She encouraged the sales folks in the audience to take a shot at “storytelling your business practices” by letting people know your history, your identity, and your vision.Disney Institute-Austin Brock 2o2Not only did the Disney Institute share the secrets of their well practiced story telling elements, but they also offered good storytelling techniques, and my personal favorite, “The DOs and DON’Ts of Storytelling.”As a graphic recorder, some of our favorite speakers follow these rules. They increase the value of the presentation by insuring clear understanding, greater memory retention, and just plain ol’ enjoyment from your audience!I’d like to share some of the Disney Institute’s Tips:DO use plain-speakDO choose length wisely (and inform your graphic recorder *wink*)DO be careful about claiming someone else’s story as your ownDO use inclusive language (be careful of acronyms)DO practice (If you say you will make 3 points, you want to remember to state all 3)DON’T begin with “I want to tell you a story”DON’T characterize the story as “This is a really funny story.” They can decideDON’T muddle the point by fussing with statistics. It just matters that action happened 


When I am not graphic recording client’s stories, I like to make sketchnotes at different storytelling events around New York City. These are some organizations that we love!IgniteNYCThe MothRISK!Pecha-Kucha NYCYou can even take storytelling classes with Kevin Allison at The Story Studio Happy Story Telling!