“(Chanda is) a natural storyteller, but also trained and experienced in a broad spectrum of writing. She can write cross genre and cross discipline—a rare flexibility. Her stories and personal essays are rich in detail and atmosphere, clear, uplifting, moving, and, when appropriate, humorous. . . Her work is subtly high minded . . . with values embedded in the language and the examples. I admire her skills, trust her judgment, and recommend her wholeheartedly.”
R.M. Kinder, award-winning author and editor
An Absolute Gentleman (Counterpoint Press), A Common Person and Other Stories (Notre Dame Press)
The Universe Playing Strings (University of New Mexico Press)
The Power of the Story
Almost everything in the world has a story hidden in it. Whether it’s the mystery you can’t put down, the documentary about a piece of history you used to think was boring, a video that reveals the secrets of the universe, or a business presentation explaining how your organization can help your potential customers achieve their dreams . . . it’s a story at heart.
But like all stories, the power of the story lies in the telling.
The Storyteller’s Art
It’s an ancient art: skilled writers and storytellers still turn to Aristotle for the fundamentals of good storytelling. And while it may seem mysterious and complex (and it is!), there are tools, techniques and elements that go into the final seemingly “simple” story that has such power to move people.
You know those powerful TED talks that really leave you fired up? They aren’t just someone “telling a great story.” They are the result hours and days of coaching from experts, plus planning and practice.
If you want your story to have that power, you’re going to need help from someone who understands the complex matrix of storytelling.
Skip the “Formula”
I see many articles today that suggest business and training programs just need to use a particular formula. That means your story is going to sound like everyone else’s. More importantly, a formula can’t help you with a complex, sensitive or multi-layered story.
The Business Story
Many people across an organization have their own ideas about the organization’s big story — but they are usually focused only on one angle. It ends up being a bit like the old example of five blind men trying to describe an elephant — each focusing only on the part they can touch.
Often, it takes an outsider to help everyone recognize your organization’s real story and its true power.
Call Me When You Are Ready To . . .
- Identify your goal–why you want to tell this story
- Analyze what will speak to your audience
- Identify the overarching thread of your story–and its individual fibers
- Weave a rich tale that leaves a lasting impact
- Choose the right medium and design for impact
- Craft your story to work across different channels
Business Storytelling Examples
Here are a few examples of client projects,
Knights of St. John: The amazing 900-year history of a charity known around the world today, told with clarity and passion in a one-hour format using existing footage. Created for Shade Tree Studios and their clients–The Knights of St. John Hospitallers of Cypress, Rhodes and Malta. Designed to promote the organization, and give supporters a great introduction into the charity’s history and its work worldwide.
Cerner CPOE: How does a doctor know when a life-saving drug may have adverse interactions and put a patient’s life at risk? A powerful system that provides instant alerts, ease of orders, and tracks patients’ unique histories across systems. Designed to reach healthcare executives when sales people couldn’t.
FABQuest: Take your place as the Captain of a Starship on a mission to save hair color salons from the Creeping Grey Empire! But first, you’ll have to learn the unique attributes and applications of an internationally famous hair care brand, then build your FAB torpedoes to save the day! Designed to train salespeople in ways to sell a unique hair color collection.
When I’m not helping a client find and tell their own powerful story . . . I’m making up my own.
My Creative Writing: Some Examples
Ghosts and More . . . Tales of the Supernatural. An anthology from Liquid Amber Publishing (Las Vegas, NV) featuring a collection of short stories from The Blackwater Literary Society (Missouri). This collection will give you chills, make you think twice (and look over your shoulder), and maybe even provide a bit of comfort about the afterlife. The book is available from Amazon as well as many bookstores.
“Perchance to Dream,” featured in Triskaideka 5M2. Buy direct from Cave Hollow Press, A young woman couldn’t imagine what she’d encounter on a rainy night in Scotland, or what it would cost her. This story won 2nd place in Cave Hollow’s call for submissions–and was also cited for honorable mention in The Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy 2006.
Detroit: A Great American City (Dillon Press; Simon & Schuster, found in most public libraries), a non-fiction children’s book in a well-known series by the original publisher. Detroit’s rich history paints the city in bright colors for both children and adults.
Work in Development:
The Alician Stone, fantasy novel, 1st place, (Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, category), Southwest Writers Workshop (judged by Ginjer Buchanan of Daw/Penguin.) Currently looking for an agent for this trilogy.
The Fifth Reisix, contemporary fantasy, 3rd Place, (Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror category), Southwest Writers Workshop.
If your story is worth telling, why not do it right?
Hire a skilled storyteller to guide you!
CHANDA K. ZIMMERMAN
Creative Communications & Learning Design
660.441.0466 | firstname.lastname@example.org
© Chanda K. Zimmerman, 2012-2022
Featured photo: © Chanda K. Zimmerman, 2018