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October 27, 2022

The Art of Storytelling: How to Influence Stakeholders in the Business World

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In her keynote speech, Priya Sam will share why storytelling is the key to building stronger connections with your audience and stakeholders. As a former television news anchor, Priya perfected the art of telling stories for a variety of different audiences. As she transitioned into the world of tech, that skill made all the difference. Along with her own experience, she will also share tips for impactful storytelling and how individuals can make their voices heard and wield influence.

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Priya Sam 00:06 So as Andrew mentioned, I'm going to share how you can use storytelling as you're showing the value of the work you do, and also how it can be used to build stronger connections with your audience and to influence stakeholders. So yes, my name is Priya. I am a solution engineer at Slack which was acquired by Salesforce last year. Prior to that, as Andrew mentioned, I was a television news anchor and morning show host. So today, you'll really hear more about how those two worlds collided, and how the lessons I learned around storytelling as a journalist have really helped me to find success in the corporate world. And I hope that sharing some of these lessons, will help all of you as well. So the first journalism job I had was in a small local newsroom in a Canadian city called Halifax, a population of about 400,000 people, I actually moved there to do my master's degree. So I had no connection to the city, or this part of the country called the Maritimes. Before that. The job I got was behind the scenes, I was mostly answering phones, I was passing along news tips to producers and reporters, printing scripts for the news anchors and occasionally doing a bit of writing. The most stressful part of my job was that I operated the teleprompter for the anchors and hosts during the live newscast. So when there were last minute changes, you know, there were some stressful moments. Let's say that. But the best part of this job was that I was able to see how the whole newsroom operated. I observed how people interacted what stories different reporters gravitated towards. I received calls from viewers so I started to learn more about the audience and what they really cared about in this part of the country. You may have heard this line, if it bleeds, it leads. It's probably one of the most awful statements that we say in the news business. But it was very common in newsrooms, and it was really born out of this belief that the most sensational stories typically about crime would be the first in the newscast because that's what would grab the audience's attention. And that does work in some places. But I quickly learned that this was not the case in the part of the country I was in. It actually had a very low crime rate. So we just didn't have stories about crime every day. And the six o'clock newscast was the flagship show here. So that newscast typically had about 20 minutes of local news at the beginning before moving into national and international news. So just to give you an idea of the format, because it becomes important in this next part of this lesson I learned here during this first storm that happened in the Maritimes while I was working there. So I really had an aha moment here because during the storm, we had four reporters who were live in different parts of the region. They were all doing weather related stories. Plus we had our meteorologist with the forecast...