Author: Ken Pillipow

Oct 24

Say It With Charts!

Don’t data dump! Inspired by my favorite data storytelling book, Say It With Charts by Gene Zelazny, these two videos will help you tell a story with your data. How should you present a chart? Be a good movie director using a wide shot, medium shot and close shot. Grappling with how much information to […]

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Sep 16

Don’t present your chart… direct it!

Last week, I had to stop a presenter as he was mid-way through explaining his chart. “Can you back up?” I asked. “I think I first need to understand what the numbers on the side mean.” It happens a lot. After spending a few days or even weeks synthesizing data, pulling out the meaning and […]

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Mar 22

If You Want To Blow Any Computer Out Of The Water…Tell A Story.

A few years ago in a session of The Story Compass, a participant asked me, “Don’t you think storytelling is a bit primitive? I think we’ll evolve past it, communicate in a more sophisticated way.” My first thought was, “Whoah! Slow down buddy. You just called the whole course into question!” Then I thought about […]

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Oct 21

Carly Franklin

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR When Carly Franklin tears out a stitch, she doesn’t see that as a failure with her sewing. For Carly, that is sewing. “Just because something is stitched together doesn’t mean that’s how it will stay.” For Carly, this truth also applies to life. When Carly applied to the Ontario College of Art and […]

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Apr 11

Have a fast car? Who cares? What’s your story?

One evening last week, I warmed up two chocolate chip cookies and, at the urging of my dad, sat down to watch Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix. By the end of three episodes, I had decided two things. First, I would ask my son to hide the cookies. Second, I would be watching […]

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Apr 18

In This COVID Crisis, We Don’t Need Corporate Jargon. Please.

Fear of the unknown. Is there anyone not feeling this right now? If our usual changes at work are like Gandalf showing up at our cottage door and asking, “Hey, want to go to Mordor and destroy this dangerous ring?”, COVID is the unmarked van that peeled up onto the sidewalk, threw us in the back, […]

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Feb 11

Stop Ignoring Them! How to Engage Your Audience Tip #1

“Tell them that joke you know.” When we think of engaging our audiences, we often think of things like telling a story, a joke, making eye contact or asking a question. And those are great suggestions. (Unless you’re not funny. Then – please – avoid the joke.) But what about giving them a voice? You […]

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Nov 29

How Is Your Day Going?

Last night I was on the phone with my 11-year-old, Julian. After telling me all about his gymnastics session that evening, he asked me how my day was. It was a moment of sweet connection because that simple question told me he was interested in me and he cared about my answer. It stood out […]

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Oct 10

If we think “Story” is a passing fad we can ignore, we haven’t just lost the plot. We never grasped it in the first place.

Two days ago, a colleague of mine sent me a video of a communications consultant describing the four basic communication preferences that make us different. The idea was a useful spin off Myers Briggs and it was well presented – clear, simple, engaging and memorable. One part of the consultant’s message bothered me though because […]

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Aug 19

You Have To Spend Some Money to See In The Dark

Today a client called to cancel their Storytelling workshop. “Our budget has been frozen. The first thing to go is this workshop,” she said and I could hear the disappointment in her voice. Twenty-five mid-level technical staff were counting on that workshop to improve their presentations and communications at a time and in an economic […]

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