Why Conflict Is Critical in Storytelling with Norman Bell

August 2, 2021

norman bell on brand

“Storytelling is in the air for business but why is that? Why is it so important?” These questions and more were at the very heart of my interview with Norman Bell, author of The Story Powered Speaker, this week on the On Brand podcast!

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Norman Bell

Norman Bell is a storytelling and presentation coach, award-winning speaker, theater and film actor, and author of the book, The Story Powered Speaker: How to Own the Stage, Enchant your Audience, and Grow Your Business Using the Magical Power of Storytelling. Norman is passionate about helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs and organizations communicate their stories and messages more effectively so that they connect with their audiences on an emotional level, which leads to more clients, more donations, and more impact.

Episode Highlights

Where do you start with storytelling? Norman often asks his workshop attendees to start with their why—their origin story. “I focus on telling stories on stage but it applies to all channels.”

The trouble with business stories. Norman notes that we get business stories wrong a lot of the time. “Are your business success stories really stories? They have the word story in them but we spend most of our time on the solution—on our features, benefits.” Norman went on to tell us about the power of conflict in the stories that we love.

If Star Wars was a business story … as further proof that business focuses too much on the solution, Norman sketched out the business-story version of Star Wars (1977), which would be 80% medal ceremony rather than the final five minutes of the movie that it actually is.

What brand has made Norman smile recently? He gave us two. First up, Tom’s of Maine. Norman likes the daily reminder on his toothpaste to “Do a little good today.” Plus, as Norman noted, Tom’s walks the talk. He also talked about Simone Biles’s courage for taking a stand for her own mental health at the Olympics. Brave stories all the way around.

To learn more about Norman, check out his website, StoryPoweredSpeaker.com. He also provided his email at the end of the interview for getting a free PDF of his book!

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.