The Grid

Storytelling isn't just telling stories

Hey y’all,

Welcome to another edition of The Grid.

Last issue went out to 544 people. We have since added 53 new people.

Great to have each and everyone of you 597 readers.


If you ever have suggestions or topics you want me to dive into, just reply to this newsletter and let me know.

You hear the buzzword all the time these days. “Storytelling”.

When clubhouse was rolling along back in the winter time, it was impossible to miss all the rooms around storytelling and public speaking. I would drop into these rooms occasionally just to listen to these “experts.”

It really made me stop and think about the difference between what they were doing and what I believe storytelling is all about.

In those rooms I would listen to a retelling of a personal story. Many of them were entertaining. Many of them were well delivered.

But they never had any substance behind them for the audience. No inspiration. No call to action.

This is what I call telling stories.

Storytelling is using stories to inspire action.

Let’s go way back to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition. Ultimately turning into a written format that lasted thousands of years, continues to be studied in university today, and led to multiple movies based on these epic tales.

But why did it survive?

Because these stories are designed to teach, make the audience think, and ultimately to inspire them to behave in a certain way. These stories taught about the Gods, history, warfare, honor, and duty. Storytellers know the way to create a long lasting impact is to make it applicable to the audience.

This past week we wrapped up Performative Speaking with a mini-TED talk week. As you can imagine, stories played a critical part in these talks.

What stood out to me is how each story delivered by this extraordinary group of people connected to the audience in a way that made them think deeply and often times take action. Something as simple as “call your dad” or “buy an bike”.

Something as complicated as identity and how to help people create their own.

One story talked about how to answer a 5 yr old when they ask about evil. Another story talked about the struggle of feeling like an outsider and how important language is to overcome it. There were many moments that I felt overwhelmed with emotion. Laughter, joy, reflection, sadness, and awe all took hold of me and the other members of this cohort.

The group of people in Performative Speaking aren’t just telling stories, they are storytellers.

That’s why they will change the world.

I had a conversation with Jack Butcher this morning, after we just missed each other in Miami, about this image he put out earlier today.

He called it “The Leveraged Creator”.

It’s a perfect visualization of the process. After our 30 minute call ended, I opened up a google doc and decided to write on the idea. The end result is an article that I believe many people will find useful on how to build expertise and use it as leverage.

Expertise as Leverage.

A friend, and one of the members of the very first Performative Speaking cohort, Moe Mirza sent me this trailer for a new Anthony Bourdain movie coming out soon. I had chills watching it and need to do an even deeper dive into why Tony is one of my main inspirations in life.

He may be gone but I hope to live a life that he would have given a slight head nod to.

I recently spoke at Jason Yeh’s Fundraising for Founders cohort around Pitch Delivery.

I broke it down into two different styles. This simple distinction can help you take the right approach.

I termed it Formal versus Informal.

It was a great session where 5 different founders gave their pitch and then received feedback and help from both Jason and me.

Are you a founder looking for help with your story, pitch deck, or pitch?

You can book a free discovery call here.

Until next time,