“Great stories happen to those who can tell them”
- Ira Glass

The Story Rules Content Hub

Welcome to the Story Rules Content Hub – the best place on the web to learn all about storytelling techniques for work. Here’s where you get rich storytelling examples, analyses, view points, interview nuggets, visuals, quotes and much, much more.

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This one is born from my pet project, the ‘Ultimate Guide to Storytelling Techniques', and is for story geeks! Want to know some great examples of analogies? Human stories? The Pyramid Principle? We have you covered!

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Dive into the different types of content available on the site and have fun exploring: Blog, #SOTD, Podcast, Podcast Nugget, Newsletter, Video, E-book
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Pyramid Lego
1. Make me Understand

A story structuring framework as easy as 1-3-9

“All of this is great Ravi. But we hardly get any time to prepare our presentations. If we had ample time, we could apply all the storytelling techniques you teach. How do we use them when the deadline is one day?” This is one of the most common pushbacks1 I get when I share some of the storytelling techniques with my session participants. And I think it is easily addressable. The key trick? If you want to start on a presentation, don’t start with the presentation. Start with a one-page summary using something I call the 1-3-9 Story Spine. It’s …

toshan Tamhane
2. Make me Engaged

E19: Toshan Tamhane – Lessons from Mckinsey, Meetings and Marathons!

I’m excited to release the next episode of my podcast – with Toshan Tamhane, currently Chief Strategy Officer at UPL and ex-Senior Partner at Mckinsey and Co. In storytelling, clarity of communication is a key goal. And one firm which has exemplified that in business communication is Mckinsey. After all, this is the firm that gave birth to the Pyramid Principle (through Barbara Minto) – a tool that I teach regularly as a part of my courses. I was always keen to speak to a senior leader from Mckinsey about how they view the art and craft of storytelling – and was I …

Paul Smith
2. Make me Engaged

E18: Paul Smith – Bestselling author of books on storytelling

I know, I know – it’s been ages since the last episode of the podcast. But the way I’m looking at this initiative is that I’m building these knowledge assets for the long term. More than a regular cadence, I’m just looking to create a base of content that is valuable and timeless. Meanwhile, I’m excited to release the next episode of my podcast – with Paul Smith. ​Paul Smith is the bestselling author of books such as ‘Lead with a Story’, ‘Sell with a Story’ and ‘The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell’. Paul specialises in what I term as ‘human stories’ – …

comic_movie_sequels_take_over_hollywood
5. General

Comic movie sequels take over Hollywood

This week our headline article is a tweet thread – a data-story on the changing nature of Hollywood box-office hits. Article/s of the week ​a. A tweet thread on Hollywood’s box-office hits by Eric Krebs​ Movies are fun (and relatively easy) to research. Each movie is a clear, discrete product. You can categorise them across hundreds of possible aspects. And financial success is easy to measure. Which makes it an analyst’s dream. Freelance writer Eric Krebs uses those factors to his advantage in this eye-opening analysis of how the composition of box-office hits has changed in US. There are two …

why_do_600m_people_speak_spanish
5. General

Why do 600M people speak Spanish?

This week our headline article is a fascinating dive into Spain’s history by Tomas Pueyo. Article/s of the week ​a. ‘A brief history of Spain’ by Tomas Pueyo​ How do you start a tweet thread about the history of Spain, a country of just about 46M people (think Delhi+Mumbai combined), but one whose language is spoken by 600M around the world? You create a compelling hook. Here’s how Tomas Pueyo starts his thread: Source: Tomas Pueyo tweet That’s right – Spain’s greatest legacy to the world is its language. Almost all of the nations of Central and South America (except Brazil) and a …

assets_which_become_liabilities
5. General

Assets which become liabilities

This week our headline article is a short yet deeply insightful piece by Morgan Housel. Article/s of the week ​a. ‘Reality Catches Up’ by Morgan Housel​ You complete an MBA/engineering degree and are looking for a job. Guess what – you win the job market lottery! How? Because you have graduated at the peak of a boom cycle. You get a job with an unheard of starting salary. That sounds like a great thing to have, right? An asset as it were. Morgan Housel has a different point of view. An asset you don’t deserve can quickly become a liability. …

Your-advice-is-not-helping
5. General

Your advice is not helping

This week I’m profiling a short but impactful book on the power of coaching. Book of the week ​a. ‘The Coaching Habit’ by Michael Bungay Stanier​ Let’s face it – we love giving advice. We love it when someone comes to us with a problem and asks us for our opinion. Heck, even if they don’t come with a problem, our uber-helpful mind is itching to convert the conversation into an unsolicited advice-giving session. Here’s how Michael Bungay Stanier, the author of The Coaching Habit, puts it: We’ve all got a deeply ingrained habit of slipping into the advice-giver/expert/answer-it/solve-it/fix-it mode. …

Of-husbands-who-must-not-be-named
5. General

Of husbands who must not be named

This week’s main article recommendation, by the incredible Mahima Vashisht, is a stirring ode to that most curious Indian practice – of wives not taking their husband’s names. (Incidentally, no #SOTD Digest this week, since it is on a mid-season break!) Article/s of the week ​a. ‘He who must not be named’ by Mahima Vashist (Womaning in India)​ There are few writers who write about such universally relevant topics (such as gender) with such freshness, clarity, wit and warmth as Mahima. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting Mahima on my podcast – catch that conversation in case you haven’t yet. After a …

The-fascinating-origins-of-words
5. General

The fascinating origins of words

This week’s book is a fascinating dive into the origins of words by one of my favourite authors – Mark Forsyth. But first up, the #SOTD Digest. The #SOTD Digest Here’s a quick summary of the five #SOTD emails from the past week – a week when I hit the 100 number! – #SOTD 96: The rise of ‘Narrative capital’ (Sajith Pai post): Sajith Pai doing what he does best – finding insightful patterns among disparate data points and labelling the same. – #SOTD 97: Start with a very narrow audience (Lenny Rachitsky tweet): Product management expert Lenny Rachitsky gives some counter-intuitive advice when …

SOTD96
1. Make me Understand

#SOTD 98: A simple visual to compare populations (Amazing Maps)

These paintings reflect on being ready for what’s to come and like the trees knowing we’ll get through it. There will be blossoming once again in the spring. …

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