Are your storytelling skills lacking? This session may be for you.

Are you an effective leader but never seem to capture or engage your audience when delivering a speech?

Having trouble writing a report that’s so persuasive others are envious?

Is the idea for your first novel wrapped tightly in your brain, just waiting for you to find the right words to actually produce it?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, or if you simply want to enhance your own writing skills, you might want to invest a mere $30 to listen to nationally renowned storyteller and businesswoman Nancy Duarte share her secrets.

What sets Nancy Duarte apart?

Among other things, Duarte works with some of the biggest companies in the world, from Disney and Hershey to Apple. She appears on CNN and is quoted by the likes of The New York Times and L.A. Times newspapers, and Fortune and Wired magazines. The chief executive officer of Duarte Inc., she is ranked No. 67 among women on the list of the top 250 Women in Leadership and No. 1 on World’s Top 30 Communication Professionals. She’s written three books, co-written one, and helped former presidential candidate Al Gore on the documentary slide show The Inconvenient Truth.

With those credentials in hand, the communication leader’s talks will be “built around the concept of storytelling as a means for building more effective relationships with your audience,” said Dr. Craig Collins, dean of the College of Arts & Media at Southeastern University. The lectures, which include a question-and-answer period, are part of the university’s “Expressions Storytelling Institute and Writers Conference” series.

Master the Art

SEU is bringing Duarte to town on Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. for three one-hour sessions to teach those in attendance how to master their storytelling skills to enhance their business prowess. The three sessions will be held at the Polk Museum of Art, each one focused on a different theme:

  • Recommend: Use storytelling skills and data to persuade someone or a group to take action.
  • Resonate: Create a story framework to write a speech that resonates with those in attendance.
  • Lead: Dust off your leadership experiences and use them to create an emotional environment that will help you lead and keep your organization moving forward.

Attendees will leave Duarte’s talk with knowledge on how and why visual storytelling can improve their skills in the arts and in business.

“The art of painting pictures with words, of evoking emotions and stirring desires, can be tangibly expressed and harnessed, when one has the right tools,” said Andrea Oliver, news and public affairs director for Hall Communications in Lakeland and a member of SEU’s College of Arts & Media’s advisory board. “Being able to weave an effective story, as a craftsman would weave a basket, not only captures the attention but, inevitably, the wallets.”

Arts and Business

Collins says Duarte understands “the interconnected nature of the arts and business.”

“It is often perceived that the concepts of art and business are separate in their applications,” Collins said. “Truly, art, as a profession, is sustained through business. Business is made most effective through art. Every communication we conceptualize, design, and distribute exists because of skills and thought processes that are inherently taught and refined in the arts.”

To Attend the Event

Thanks to a grant from Visit Florida, cost for the event is only $30 per person. Seating is limited to 150 people. To register or for more information, visit SEU’s College of Arts & Media website.