“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, viewpoints, interview nuggets, visuals, quotes, and much, much more. To find out how you can make the most of this resource, please watch this 12-minute video.

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Search for content tagged by one or more of the four basic storytelling objectives from the audience’s point of view - Make them Understand, Make them Engaged, Make them Care, Make them Trust

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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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Decoding the Biden inauguration speech – 5 Storytelling Lessons

After 4 chaotic years of shockingly divisive politics, the US is seeing a memorable transition in power. ​No one knows what the next four years would bring. But this moment – a historic one – deserves its story to be told well. ​And the responsibility of telling that story falls, disproportionately, on the shoulders of one guy. ​Joseph Biden’s speechwriter. (who, incidentally, happens to be of Indian origin). ​In today’s post, I will share 5 storytelling techniques used in the US Presidential inauguration speech. (You can quickly read through the transcript, if you haven’t heard it). ​A tough ask Speeches given to …


Four incidents, Four lessons

Hi there, ​This would be my last post in the Swara chronicles. 🙂 ​(For those who came in late, here’s the first letter about how we got her home and then this one shared some more stories.) ​As of today, it’s been about 2 months since she’s come home (although, it seems that she has been part of our life for longer than that)! She has integrated beautifully well with the entire family. (Touchwood!) ​In this post, I’m sharing four incidents over these couple of months (and four lessons) which might be useful for anyone with young kids (or about to have one)! ​1. …


How Improv can help you cope with the uncertainties of life

It’s time for my content recommendations for Jan-21 – a book, a podcast, articles and videos. ​Let’s get started ​1. Book a. ‘Improvise! Use the Secrets of Improv to achieve Extraordinary Results at Work’ by Max Dickins​ My first tryst with Improv was not a very impressive one. ​Several years back, I was attending an improv workshop at the quaint and idyllic ‘Pagdandi Bookstore Cafe’ in Pune. The instructor – a 25-something guy – was taking a bunch of (mainly) youngsters through the basics of improv. I must have been the oldest guy in the group. ​Perhaps the coach was inexperienced, …


Begin with impact: Five ways to grab your audience’s attention at the beginning of your presentation

Beginnings can be beautiful, fun, and most of all, motivating. ​But for a data-storyteller crafting a critical presentation, beginnings can also be stressful. When you have a mound of information to share, you can get paralysed by one thought: Where do I begin? ​A break from the usual Welcome to the first edition of ‘Story Rules on Saturday’ of 2021 – a year that brings in hope and cheer after a gloomy 2020 (although, as my friend Harish quips, the virus doesn’t know that yet). ​In today’s post, I decided to postpone the usual book and other content recommendations, and, paying heed to …


Decathlon: Enough with Santa, let’s tell stories of the elves

I remember the first time I saw a Decathlon store. It was on one of those unending trips from Bangalore city to Hydera…, sorry, Bangalore airport. ​I saw this huge hulking shed lording over the road with the name DECATHLON in large letters, accompanied by that short iconic tagline – ‘Sport for all, all for sport’. ​That’s a brilliant line, I thought. ​And then I shook my head. Really, do you think that folks will drive ALL the way from the city just to get a tennis racquet? What a bad business decision, I thought. ​Clearly, there’s a reason why …


The story of how we got our daughter home (PS: Mandira Bedi, we owe you one)

I was not comfortable. ​It was five-thirty in the evening as Praveena (the better half) and I were trundling in a white Swift Dzire on a long road with too little traffic for my comfort. ​We were midway on the road from Patna to a small town called Begusarai (so much character in that name!) in Bihar, India. ​It was winter in India – the sun sets early. In Pune, where I live, sunset usually happens at around 6 pm, with another 15-20 minutes of twilight. ​However, this wasn’t Pune – this was Bihar. It’s not just to the north …


More stories about the little one… (and a bonus story from Begusarai)

Dear Swara, Just in case you happen to be reading this when you’ve grown-up… Here’s a confession. I’ve been sharing some stories of yours with my extended circle of friends and well-wishers… without your explicit permission. I hope that’s ok. Perhaps you will read these letters with a wry smile on your face… but perhaps some part of you might be thinking… “Whoa, Appa … boundaries!!” To that privacy-seeking part, here’s my message. I understand that I’m not exactly being discreet with your stories here. But think of these as benefiting a larger audience in taking a critical life decision …

Want to refute something Don't deny it. Instead, manufacture doubt

Want to refute something? Don’t deny it. Instead, manufacture doubt

Today being the first Saturday of the month, it is time for my content recommendations – a book, a podcast, articles and videos. ​Let’s get started ​1. Book a. ‘How to Make the World Add Up: Ten Rules for Thinking Differently About Numbers’ by Tim Harford​ In 1953, senior executives from the tobacco industry met at the Plaza Hotel in New York. They were meeting to discuss a recent study by a couple of British scientists. In the study, the scientists – after a painstaking randomised control trial – had come to a shocking conclusion which for the first time linked …


A data-storytelling insight from the Jyotirlinga story

(This week’s a short one – but hopefully, enjoyable nevertheless!) ​Among the Hindu Gods trinity of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver) and Shiva (Destroyer), devotees’ prayers are not distributed equally. ​While there are scores of temples to Vishnu and Shiva, poor ol’ Brahma has to contend with just a handful, with the most prominent one being at Pushkar, Rajasthan. Clearly something major happened at a very early stage of Hinduism such that the entire diverse community (and future generations) eschewed building temples to this member of the Trinity with a fairly critical job description. ​Why so? Predictably the answer is in …


How I stumbled upon the word ‘Storyteller’ for what I do

Sometime in 2014, I was trying to figure out what to do next, after my 3-year stint at B-ABLE, a skill development firm. ​I eventually ended up co-founding Captivatour with Deepthi and Sid, but before that, I was exploring multiple options. Training and education were interest areas and one company I really admired was XSEED Education – so I wanted to find out if they had something relevant. ​A batch senior of mine was with that company and I sent my CV through him for a possible role. ​An interview was fixed. The interviewer was a leader called Anustup Nayak.​Anustup is now a …


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