Nancy Duarte – How to tell the hard stories 

In this episode I speak with Nancy Duarte – CEO and founder of Silicon Valley’s largest and most successful communications firm, Duarte Inc. Nancy has spent the last 30 years immersed in the world of human story telling and has been behind the scenes of some of the most compelling speeches – or as she calls them’ impassioned pleas’ – that we’ve ever seen. Including Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. 

She’s worked with the thought leaders of global brands like Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, TED, Twitter, the World Bank – I’ll stop now. She’s also renowned author of ‘Illuminate’, ‘Resonate’ and ‘Slide:ology’. Her TED talk ‘The Secret Structure of Great Talks’ has also been watched over 3 million times.

This conversation weaves between her observations as a storytelling expert – and her experiences as a leader since pandemic began. Where, like many of us, her skills as a communicator have been stretched to a WHOLE new place. If you want to dive into my original conversation with her, which was one of the most useful explorations of the structure of epic presentations I have ever had. I believe it’s episode:

Today we jump straight into…

The stories that resonate in the messy middle of a crisis
How to tell the hard stories – and there’s no getting around the fact that there are hard stories to tell right now. And why not every story is for everyone – and that’s just ok.
The three act structure – why it works – and how to use it in a virtual setting
And her take on what the epic stories – and story tellers – of the future will look like. And believe me – this woman is behind the scenes at many of the tech companies that are literally rewriting the future of storytelling as I say this. So if she speaks – I listen.

What I want you to reflect on her is not necessarily the tools – although please do. But her reflections as a leader of her own team. There are no obvious answers for anyone right now – and it’s easy to imagine that the experts must have it down – right? What I took from Nancy is that all the tools and strategies in the world don’t matter – if we can’t first find the courage to be seen. To show up in the chaos when we don’t have the answers. Or to stand in the fire alongside our people when it counts.

On that note – I’m going to leave you in the very safe hands of one of my own personal mentors – Nancy Duarte.

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