E28: Gabrielle Dolan Interview

Storytelling expert and author of four books on storytelling, Gabrielle ‘Ral’ Dolan shares:

  • Why storytelling is a key leadership competency
  • How to use and influence the organisation’s natural grapevine for influence
  • What NOT to do when it comes to sharing personal stories
  • Where to get your stories from
  • How to create a bank of stories ready for use
  • Key tips on handling nerves when it comes to storytelling
  • Three mistakes to avoid when it comes to storytelling

 

Get her latest book, Stories for Work - The Essential guide to business storytelling and check out her workshops at www.gabrielledolan.com

Join the revolution (and watch the hilarious videos here) #jargonfreefridays (jargonfreefridays.com).

Transcript:

Welcome to the Zoë Routh leadership podcast. Your source of strategies and insights to make you a better leader. Influence, improve, inspire.

Zoë Routh:           I am so excited to bring you author and wonder woman Gabrielle Dolan on today's podcast interview. She has worked previously at the National Australia Bank in corporate land, in change management and organisational change. She has co-founded One Thousand and One, which is one of Australia's leading storytelling companies, before launching her own practice in 2013. She's also one of the partners at Thought Leaders Global, which if you've been around me, I constantly rave about for any coach consultant or trainer who wants to up level their game and make a bigger difference. She's a partner there where she works with people like me, to gain a competitive edge with their thought leadership.

She was also nominated in 2015 as Telstra's businesswoman of the year. Very good. She has published four books. Ignite, Story Telling For Job Interviews, Hooked, and Stories For Work, which is what we're going talk about today. The other thing that you need to be aware of is her fabulous revolution, called Jargon Free Fridays. You can find her hilarious videos on jargonfreefridays.com, I will put a link in the show notes. The show notes for this episode will be at zoerouth.com/podcast/ral, R-A-L, and we're calling it Ral, because that's actually how Gabrielle prefers to be called. She is called Ral. Of course the first story we're going ask her about is, why Ral, Ral?

Ral Dolan:            What a fabulous introduction, I don't know whether I was excited more about calling me wonder woman or author of four books. I'll take those. Yeah, Ral, I have been called Ral my entire life. My youngest sister and one of her children and my younger sister could never pronounce my name. She'd always sorta say Gayrel or something like that, so I've been called Ral my entire life, so my preference is Gabrielle or Ral. If anyone calls me Gabby, I'd have to kill them!

Zoë Routh:           That's hilarious. Something similar happened to my husband Rob. One of the little kids couldn't say Robert or Rob, so they called him Roro. He is now Roro in the family, so we're Zozo and Roro, isn't that cute?

Ral Dolan:            Excellent.

Zoë Routh:           Okay, well we're here to talk about stories. The first stories I'm curious about is how did you go from change management in a bank to being a storytelling professional?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, I worked for the National Australia Bank for over 17 years and progressed up through the ranks. One of my, sort of one of the final roles I was doing was a change manager. I distinctly remember, I was one this major project and I was working with this woman called Marin. Previously she had told me a story about how she used to fly, she used to live in the UK and would fly to Dublin every Sunday for work, to spend the week in working. She shared with me that she caught the same flight every Sunday. The hostess would be going through the safety instructions and she wasn't listening, she'd be reading a paper or falling asleep but certainly not listening.

                                    On this one particular flight, due to really bad weather they had to abort the landing, and they circled around again, and for a second time they had to abort the landing, and the weather was getting progressively worse. On the third attempt, the captain came on and said we will make one final attempt to land, but before we do, we'll go through the safety instructions one more time. Marin said, it was full attention, people were asking questions and counting the rows and actually seriously looking for the life jackets.

                                    We fast forwarded a few months later, I was rolling out major transformation across the National Australia Bank, and Marin was the project manager and I was the change manager. It was going to impact every HR professional. It was going be a long project. When we pulled everyone together, I said to Marin, what's the one key message you want to get across to them? She said, "I want them to understand that they're going receive a lot of information, and it may not be always relevant to them, but they need to be paying attention, because when it is, it's going impact them, and it's going impact them personally." I suggested to Marin to share the story about flying into Dublin, and at first she was a little bit reluctant, going "What has that got to do with anything?" I said, "Yeah, it's our message."

                                    So she did share the story with HR professionals, and it was probably the first time in my life that I sat back and observed the power of someone sharing a personal story to get a business message across. Not only the impact that had immediately on the people in the room, but six months, 12 months later, people were still referring to that story. I just from that moment, I guess it was a bit of a sliding doors moment for me, because I just realised that there was power in sharing personal stories in a business context. The more I got onto this, I looked around and all the inspiring presenters, all the inspiring leaders were all sharing personal stories. That was the sliding door moment, and that was over about 12 years ago, and I left the bank to literally start teaching people how to share personal stories to get their business message across.

Zoë Routh:           That is an amazing story, and I could just visualise that, you know. Circling around again, and we're going try to land again. You better pay attention, everybody's like, holy cow, this is important.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah. I think it also highlights that's it's just a little day to day personal story. That can really get your message across, not the big, dramatic moments in your life.

Zoë Routh:           That one's pretty dramatic, but yeah. Maybe you're right, there's other little, clearly you work with people about how to surface those day to day little stories. That happen ...

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, absolutely.

Zoë Routh:           Even on your website, on your bio page, you don't do the usual bio thing, you actually tell a story first.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah! One of the pressures have been, you know, teaching people story telling, is that you absolutely have to role model storytelling, but so yeah, I've tried to put a story in the About Me page. There's a growing trend of people to change their about us page on websites to our story. I get in and look and nine times out of 10, there's no story at all. Just calling something a story doesn't make it a story.

Zoë Routh:           Yeah, it's more like, and this is what we did anyway over the last 12 years.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah. Absolutely. It's a timeline, it's not a story.

Zoë Routh:           Right, so obviously you've built a very successful business based on the premise of teaching organisations and leaders how to tell stories. Is it becoming more of a thing? Like what's your sense around story telling as a professional tool these days?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, look, it absolutely is becoming a thing. When I started 12 years ago, selling storytelling into CEO's and senior execs and corporate Australia was a pretty hard gig. I would often get met with storytelling, you know, once upon a time, and we've got a very serious job and we can't possibly use storytelling, so it was a bit of a hard sell. Although interesting, my first major clients were the likes of National Australia Bank and Ericsson, who were full of engineers, and Accenture, who, professional services. So now it is, I guess, rightly seen as a key leadership competency and a communication and influencing tool.

                                    I think us leaders more and more realise that just relying on logic and data and facts and figures is not an effective way to communicate, and it's certainly not an inspiring way to lead.

Zoë Routh:           It's amazing how some of your first clients were those whose careers or professional focus is around statistics and facts and figures and, I guess, they were told pretty early on that they needed something more jazzy to get their message across.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, absolutely. I mean, just facts and figures and statistics don't inspire or engage anyone. They need a way to bring those messages alive. Yeah, it's absolutely, it feels like it's the big scene at the moment in corporate Australia, to the point where people are saying, oh is it just a fed, and I don't think it's a fed. I mean, story telling, it's actually ridiculous these days. Storytelling to fed, it's been around for tens of thousands of years since how humans communicated. It's the way humans communicate best, it's just business try to knock those natural things out of us by pretending to be all professional and not use it.

Zoë Routh:           Yeah, that's true. I'm curious then, you described it as a leadership competency, and one of the things you just mentioned is using stories to inspire and engage. How else would you use stories as a competency?

Ral Dolan:            Storytelling has so many applications, so once I've found that once people learn the skill, and it is a skill. Even though we as human, we're hardwired to tell stories and we share stories all the time, you know, private life. There's a real skill in doing it effectively in business. What I find, once you learn the skill, you just realise how many different places you can use it. In presentations, that's one of the most obvious places to use a story. I often, when I work with leaders, to say if you're doing a presentation, start with a story. Maybe start with a personal story that actually shows your passion around what you're about to talk about.

                                    How you can use stories in presentations. But it's just everyday. Whether it's in team meetings, whether it's in sales meetings, whether it's in those one on one performance management conversations. In corridor chats, it works brilliantly in the written format as well, with a lot more leader writing their own newsletters and blogs. Once people know the power of it and know how to do it properly, they find so many different ways to share their stories.

Zoë Routh:           How do they know their being effective with their storytelling?

Ral Dolan:            Look, it's a good question. Sometimes when you share a story, you actually don't know if it worked. What you will often do is some people go, oh yeah, I never thought about it that way. They will often just come up and say, I loved your story. But sometimes that doesn't happen and you can find out years later. You can literally, you can meet someone three or four or five years later and they go, "I still remember that story you shared." You're thinking, wow, I didn't know that had the impact it did. You can sort of tell by people's body language and you know, the nodding and the way you feel you've got through. But sometimes you don't necessarily know if it's worked or not.

Zoë Routh:           So it's a bit more of an intuitive thing from the outset I guess.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, it's a bit more intuitive. Unless people are actually telling you that that story really worked.

Zoë Routh:           Unless they actually come up to you.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah. Look, and a lot of times when you work with CEO and senior execs, they don't hear that. But perhaps their corporate affairs people or their executive managers hear the feedback about, really loved their story, really humanised them. Sometimes, if the story is retold, so that's the real power, when you know it's effective, when it's actually been retold and you are hearing other people share the story. That that's the real power of stories.

Zoë Routh:           So that links a little bit to my question about the grapevine. I've seen this in some of your work, but the grapevine in organisations, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, look, I think what the grapevine, we all, you know, the term the grapevine, I heard it on the grapevine. You just heard it and sometimes you don't even know who you heard it from, but you just heard it on the grapevine. Organisations have grapevines too. It's one of, often when I say the organisations, it's the most powerful communication medium you have. Every single employee is a part of it every single day. But we spend so much time focusing on the formal communication channels, like the website and the newsletters. We ignore this powerful, informal communication channel. While you can't control the grapevine, you can certainly influence it, and you can influence it by the stories you put into it. It's really helping leaders understand that they can proactively put stories into the grapevine, that then start to get shared.

                                    That they can proactively do things that generate stories. Storytelling in the grapevine, it's not just about the stories you share, but it's about what you do that generates stories. It's almost like a push pull approach with your storytelling.

Zoë Routh:           What kinds of things would you proactively do to pop stories into, or that would generate stories in a grapevine?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, look, to give an example, I've worked with, well, I do a lot of work with the National Australia Bank, they've been an ongoing client of mine. But recently, two years ago, they launched their values and new strategy and new purpose and new vision and new values. The way they did that is they trained their top 250 leaders on storytelling. I worked with the CEO and the senior exec when they had their first day to launch the values. One of the values, one of the messages that Andrew Thoburn, the CEO wanted to get across to his leaders, what's the importance of role modelling, that you should not ask your people to do anything that you are not prepared to do yourself. He said that message, which is, you know, you're saying it, a very logical message.

                                    But he backed it up by sharing a really simple story about taking his son on a driving lesson. His son, when the indicator change lines and put on the indicator and immediately changed lanes. He said to his son, son, when you change lanes, you're meant to put the indicator on and leave it on for a few seconds to indicate to people around you, that you're changing lanes. You just don't put it on and change lanes immediately. His son turned to him and said, but dad, you don't do that. Andrew shared that story to say he had failed his son at that time. He was asking his son to do something that he didn't do.

                                    Over the next few months I trained the top 250 leaders in the organisation, and I would say that almost all of them had shared that story with their teams. The ripple effect it had through the organisation, that one simple story about Andrew taking his son on a driving lesson. It only filtered the grapevine within the NAB, but it actually moved beyond the NAB. It was probably six months later, I was in a sales meeting with another company and I used this example, as the ripple effect stories can happen in the grapevine. I got halfway through the story and they said, yeah, I've heard that story. So this is a completely different organisation, and again, it highlighted beautifully the power of stories, that it can even jump organisations.

Zoë Routh:           Yeah, I love it. I love the fact that the son called his dad on that issue, and the fact that he confessed it and everybody else went, oh yeah, I gotta tell the line too to walk my talk.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, absolutely. Also the fact that Andrew shared that story. He's, to be a really good storyteller you got to embrace vulnerability. So even that, saying that he wasn't doing the right thing by his son, is showing vulnerability, that he's not perfect. Just because you're a CEO and a senior exec, you're not perfect, and you know, obviously your listeners know that. But the more vulnerable you can be, the more senior you become, it can be really powerful in leadership.

Zoë Routh:           I've got a question about that actually, the vulnerability piece. Can people go too far with it? Can you overshare? Sometimes I hear that as a concern from people.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, look. Well, the reality is, you can, you can overshare, and I hear it as a concern too, where people go, oh, I sort of get this storytelling business, but you don't want to be oversharing. No, you don't want to be oversharing, but I think we are such a long way from oversharing. We are such a long way from showing too much vulnerability, that it's just not a concern. I think you just gotta go easy, and you know, as the storyteller you decide what stories you share and with whom. If anything feels too vulnerable, then my advice would be not to share it. I've worked with senior execs before, where they're being encouraged by, you know, perhaps their corporate affairs team to share a story.

                                    And when I work with them, I just, my advice is, this feels too raw for you at the moment. My advice is don't share it. Perhaps when there's been a bit more healing going on, then you're in a better position to share.

Zoë Routh:           I think that's a key distinction actually and that's a good guideline, because people are like, "Should I overshare?" I think you're right. If people are still working through their own trauma and emotion. If they share that, then it can be manipulative on the audience. I think if you're going share something deep and profound, you actually need to have processed it properly, in order to be able to take away the lesson, instead of just causing emotional response in your audience. Is that where you come from with that one?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, absolutely, Zoë. What I sort of say to people is you need to heal before you reveal. You need to have healed from the experience, you need to have processed it. Even though it could be emotional, you need to get to the point where you've got a learning from it. You can talk about it freely. I'm not saying, you know, you can still talk about it and get emotional, but you certainly don't want to be talking about it and breaking down and coming across all bitter and resentful. Because it just won't serve your purpose.

                                    People will just either end up feeling sorry for you or thinking, you know, move on, get over it. I'm sure that's not the purpose of your story, so you absolutely, if you're sharing something really vulnerable, you've got to, yeah, like you said, we have worked through the process, so you're in a better position to share it.

Zoë Routh:           That's a really useful one for some of my leadership programs too. Because when we go, we do intensive experience with programs and usually part of the program is for people to tell their stories.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah.

Zoë Routh:           On some courses that I have been involved with, there has been a strong push from this [inaudible 00:19:31] to bear everything, bear your soul and it's ... I've heard from participants that have been in those programs is that it's traumatising for them. They instantly regret telling it afterwards, because they've revealed more than they were ready for. Then they felt vulnerable from the, they're going hold it against me kind of point of view.

Ral Dolan:            Yes, absolutely. Absolutely, because. Yeah, look, I agree. I think some people just push people too far to get the highly emotional story, and think unless everyone's crying, it's not successful. I sort of go the opposite. I know that's a bit of a concern for some people when I run my workshops, to say this isn't about that. It's not about sharing your deepest, darkest secrets, fears or fantasy. It's really about the day to day stories that can be so much more powerful than the highly emotive ones.

Zoë Routh:           Here's the other thing just on that too, in the story sharing circle, where you're getting to know each other. I've had the experience where some people had some really horrendous, horrific stories. You get to somebody who hasn't had a life of challenges like those, and they feel inadequate. That's just a bad tone as well.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, exactly. People sort of go, I don't have any stories, I'm just normal, and I go the normal sotries, the normal day to day stories of taking your kids to soccer practice on the weekend and something happened, or just something when you were a kid. They are the most powerful ones.

Zoë Routh:           One of the recommendations you have in your latest book, which I love by the way, I thought it was brilliant.

Ral Dolan:            Thank you.

Zoë Routh:           Is that leaders should have a key set of stories in their toolbox or back pocket. What are these and what do you mean by that, that we should have at the ready, some key stories?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah look, obviously you're not just going have the one story. You don't ever want to get to the point where you've only got one story and people are going, oh my god, if I hear that story one more time, I'm going kill them. As leaders, I guess it depends on your role, I would say as a CEO and senior exec for example. If you're working for a company, at a minimum you're going have company values. I would suggest that you need a personal story for every single one of those company values. You know, you maybe ask what it means to you, or you may just take the opportunity to share what the company value means to you. I do a lot of work with organisations, sort of how they bring their company values alive by the leader sharing personal stories.

                                    They're the ones, I would definitely say you need. It could be around, you know, if you're going through significant change, you should have a story around change. Again, personal stories around this. If you find you're coming up against the same problem over and over again, and you feel like you're hitting your head against a brick wall, then have a story for that. As your messages evolve, you need to keep building on your stories. You need a variety of stories. Not just, you know, some might be really personal, some might just be day to day, some might be a little bit longer, some might be really quick and short. Just try and build up the suite of stories that you can use. That you got ready and when you get asked the question or you find yourself in that situation, you can go, actually that reminds me of a time, and you go into your story.

Zoë Routh:           How do you do that? How do you get people to think about their experience, and think of them as like, oh, this is applicable to my organisation?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah.

Zoë Routh:           How do you make that link from living your life, day to day, and going, that's a useful piece.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah. Look, one of the things I suggest people do is, as a bit of a homework after my storytelling training, is to get a blank piece of paper and literally, I suggest give yourself a good 30 minutes for this. Don't rush this process. I always find this is best on over a glass of wine. But you know, each to their own. A cup of tea would be good. Literally, just with a blank piece of paper in front of you, from your earliest memories, just write down everything that comes to your mind. Don't analyse it, thinking, oh, why have I thought of that? Just put it down. It's like a brain dump of your life. You'll have some significant things in there, you know, like, moving country or getting married or giving birth or deaths in your family.

                                    But it'll be other things that have just come into your mind. Like falling off your bike when you were eight and breaking your leg. Or getting in trouble for fighting with your best friend in grade two. It's just all these random things will come, and the idea is you just put them down. They become a brain dump, so in a week's time, or a month's time or a year's time, you need to find a story on what agile thinking means to you, for example, or teamwork. You look at the list, and I can almost guarantee you, you will find a story you need.

                                    That's one way to do like a brain dump of your life to now. Then what I know for absolute chore is after people have done my training and experienced the power of these personal stories, they just start to spot them in their day to day life. Things will happen and you'll just go, I could use that. I'm not sure when I'm going use it at the moment, but I know I could use that. You just start filing them away.

Zoë Routh:           Literally filing them in like an Evernote file or a journal or something.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, either, and I do suggest that. File away in your head, but they'll be easily forgotten. I actually just write them down in the back of my notebook. I'm not writing down the whole story. I'm just writing down one or two words or a sentence, that I know will remind me of the story. Although I do, when I work with leaders and give them the skill, I do encourage them to write out their stories as part of the skilling process first.

Zoë Routh:           Yeah, right, okay. So developing the flow and sequence and the nuance of the storytelling?

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, yeah. Because they practice, they can say that was too long, or that bit really wasn't relevant to the purpose so I should take it out, and I can really get the, just really get it really succinct, because they gotta be succinct. When you're sharing stories in a business setting, my guideline is one to two minutes. Any longer than two minutes in a business setting, people will be either thinking or sometimes even saying, "Get to the point." There's gotta be a real discipline when you share stories in business.

Zoë Routh:           I'm curious, because you've done this training with lots and lots of leaders. When I'm speaking to leaders who are nervous about public speaking and even just sharing in meetings. Then we suggest that they need to tell stories. I would imagine, and this may or may not be your experience as well, that they get even more troubled by that. It's like, oh, now I have to be a storytelling professional as well as actually speak up. How do you help people overcome that fear?

Ral Dolan:            There's sort of two ways people can go, and they can actually go the same ways at the same time. Sometimes sharing, when you're about to share a personal story, you can actually feel quite anxious about it. Because you think you need to just give, you're sharing something of yourself, which takes a little bit of courage, even though it might not be a big, major thing. So there can't be a little bit of anxiousness about that. But what I also find is when people are doing presentations. When they get to the point where they're sharing their story, they just come alive and they're, you know, because when you tell a story, you're just not retelling it, you're reliving it. So you relieve all the emotion.

                                    I can see some presenters and speakers, that I guess you would sort, you don't want to say they're boring, but they're probably a little bit bland, and matter of fact and very logical. Then they share their story and they just come alive when they share their story. It can be a little bit anxious, but once they've experienced the power of it, I feel they get over that anxiousness really quickly.

Zoë Routh:           That's a good one. It's kind of like a speaking hack, actually. That you get involved with the story and you don't have to worry about micromanaging your presentation skills, because you'll just be automated by reliving the experience.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, absolutely. Then you know, you might go on and do your content and your data and the facts and figures, and then you got another story that not only brings you to life, but it totally reengages the audience again.

Zoë Routh:           Yeah. Fabulous. All right, one last question. We talked about one way people can get started with their storytelling, and that's doing a brain dump of everything that's happened to them. What might be two other things people can do to get started with their storytelling skills?

Ral Dolan:            Probably one thing, a big mistake people make is when they start their stories, they start by saying, I want to tell you a story. Never start your stories with I want to tell you a story, or I want to tell you a true story, which is even worse, because what do you normally tell me? Do you want to tell me lies? Simply start your story with time and place. So, what I mean by that is, three years ago I went on a holiday to Vietnam. Or this morning at gym, or when I was a kid, I grew up on a farm. What time and place does, it indicates to your audience that you're about to tell them a story.

                                    As humans, we're not only hardwired to tell stories, but we're hardwired to listen to stories. I'm automatically listening to you quite differently now, that you've started with that. That's one way. Just start your story really succinctly, with time and place. It can be generic, as when I was a kid, I grew up on a farm. Or you know, three weeks ago I went out for dinner. Start with time and place, and then probably if we skip to the end, the biggest mistake people make at the end is be really directive. You want your end to be quite inviting. You want to get your message across and you want to link to the message. But you don't want to be ending by saying, the moral of the story is, you need to be showing more integrity. Or you need to be showing more passion for customers. You want your ending to be, I invite you to consider, or what I learned from that. Or imagine what we could achieve. Make sure your ending's inviting, not directive.

Zoë Routh:           Oh, that's a good one.

Ral Dolan:            Very conscious, I said that in a very directive way.

Zoë Routh:           Yeah, it still worked.

Ral Dolan:            It still worked, yeah.

Zoë Routh:           I want to share an experience with you, and I'd like your insight of this, because it bothered me ever since I had it. Is I was at a big event, as an audience member, two and a half thousand people on this event. One of the presenters started his piece with telling this great story about this soldier who is a leader, like a captain or something. In charge of a crew of military personnel and going out to face death in the battlefield. Like, there was a whole lot of tension and so on, and he describes the story of the captain, telling all these inspirational stories and galvanising the troops, and then sent them all off into danger and they all came back. Then he said at the end, that captain was me, and this is the first time I've ever told this story. And I thought ...

Ral Dolan:            Right.

Zoë Routh:           Why would you do that? A, I thought that's total bull crap, who would tell it for the first time in front of two and a half thousand people, that's the first time they've told that story. Second of all, why would you put it in third person, then confess at the end? It just sounded lame. What's your opinion on that?

Ral Dolan:            It does sound lame. First of all, I talk about what you don't want to be, is you don't want your stories to feel like they're bragging. With that, hearing the story, it sounds like he's bragging about all the great things he's done. You'd like, especially when he told a story about how great this captain was, and then he says, by the way that was me. I would imagine that's a bragging feel. Then when you tell a, I mean, one of the ways you can get away from bragging is to share how vulnerable you felt, how scared you were, you know, all this stuff.

                                    If he told it in first person, he would be able to bring all that stuff in, which he obviously didn't. It sort of, I think what you feel, then all of a sudden it feels like you've been a little bit manipulated, as opposed to somewhat sharing a genuine story. That would be my thing. Probably they key thing is when you're sharing stories in business, they have to be absolutely authentic. On two levels, they've got to be true. You can't, don't spin stories so much that they're not true. But the intent in why you're sharing it has to be authentic and genuine. It sort of sounds that, the fact that you had the reaction you did, it wasn't effective, was it?

Zoë Routh:           It wasn't for me, that's for sure.

Ral Dolan:            Unless you were the only person in the two and a half thousand that felt that way, but I would be guaranteed you wouldn't be.

Zoë Routh:           No, I suspect not, yeah. He was disappointing as a presenter immediately after that. I suspect that his opening story had such a negative impact on me, that I was not open to the rest of his content, which is ...

Ral Dolan:            I mean if your reaction is, that doesn't seem authentic, then yeah, you're not. I mean, one of the reasons I say to share a story when you present, is to build passion and credibility with the audience. If your story disconnects them, then you've lost them for the entire presentation.

Zoë Routh:           Okay, well that's awesome. Thank you for debriefing that with me, I feel much more au fait with what happened now.

Ral Dolan:            It's not you, it's him.

Zoë Routh:           Good summary. Ral, thank you so much for your insight and being with me today, I really appreciate it. You wrote a book, Stories For Work, the essential guide to business storytelling. Where can people go and grab a copy of that?

Ral Dolan:            On my website or the major bookstores around the country, but it's also available on all the online stores. You know, Amazon and all the other online stores, so that's probably the best place to get one.

Zoë Routh:           If people want to come and check out your corporate workshops on storytelling, they can go to gabrielledolan.com, is that right?

Ral Dolan:            Yup. All the information on the workshops are there, I'm happy to obviously have a chat if the people just want to have a chat to find out what their needs are and if I can add value, that would be brilliant.

Zoë Routh:           I'll post those links on the show notes at zoerouth.com/podcast/ral, R-A-L.

Ral Dolan:            I love the /ral, yup.

Zoë Routh:           Thank Ral, have a great day.

Ral Dolan:            Yeah, you too, thanks Zoë.