Disney Institute: Inspiring Creativity with StoryTelling

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 storytelling language and ImageThink’s visual facilitating!

In 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, especially with visual storytelling. 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.

Not only did the Disney Institute share the secrets of their well practiced storytelling elements, but they also offered good storytelling tips and 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!

Disney Institute Storytelling Tips

  • DO use plain-speak
  • DO choose length wisely (and inform your graphic recorder *wink*)
  • DO be careful about claiming someone else’s story as your own
  • DO 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 decide
  • DON’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!


The Moth


You can even take storytelling classes and learn more storytelling tips with Kevin Allison at The Story Studio

Happy StoryTelling!

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