Leonard Sweet, social critic and writer, once said, “Show me a successful business, and I’ll show you a triumph of storytelling.”
The invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in 1448 was heralded as one of the greatest inventions of the last thousand years. History was changed forever as through the printed page stories could be told. When the television came to market in the late 1940’s, it too had a resounding affect on how stories were told to the world.
Those who had a voice through the printed page and television were few, but today with the advent of the Internet and social media, everyone has an opportunity to tell their story. But how can we get people to hear us through all the clutter? How can our voice be heard above the fray? This can be the greatest hour for the church to tell the greatest story of all, but it will require us to learn best practices to seize the moment.
Istoria is simply the Greek word for story, and the conference is about telling story – whether it is your story, branding a company/ministry, or the great story of redemption. This conference will essentially explore the art of taking a product, organization or even a person and surrounding it or them with a compelling story.
1. How is story connected to my purpose?
We’re excited to start the Istoria Conference with guest speaker Phil Cooke, who will be sharing out of his book, “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do”. On opening night we’ll begin by addressing your purpose, what drives you and fuels your passion. Have you discovered your “one big thing”, or are you feeling pulled in different directions wondering what is my purpose? You may be wondering how story fits into your calling?
Learn how to identify your purpose, and how to use story to effectively communicate your ideas and message.
2. What makes stories so effective?
Stories paint a picture that stimulate our imagination and provoke feelings of emotion. They engage us, relate to us and cause us to ask questions. When you really think about it, everyone has a story. If you look at successful organizations such as Starbucks, Apple, or Nike, they all have developed a culture and a following based on powerful storytelling. The only way we’re going to get our message to stick in this century is by telling effective stories. Jesus told effective stories. The way he communicated his message was through parables or stories.
We’ll also look at story in a fun, interactive setting, and have a panel of our speakers break down a film we’ve all seen and go through what makes it so effective.
3. How can I be an effective storyteller?
We’re living in a new media world. There are so many alternatives out there to spread your message through, and you have to be able to make a connection. The days of mass media, where the same message was sent to a mass audience because the choices were more limited, those days are gone. Now we filter through the different messages we hear and decide what we want to listen to.
More than ever we have to be intentional about our story and about our message – how we represent ourselves or brand our organization. As a church we feel we have the greatest story to tell, but if no one is listening then we’re really not being very effective. This is an opportunity to discover how to be a powerful storyteller for today’s generation.
The conference is designed to inspire and equip leaders in the church, non-profit and business world. There are sessions with broad strokes for senior leaders and workshops with fine strokes for those producing and writing.
We are excited to bring in several keynote speakers who are gifted in getting “story” right in this post modern culture. The sessions will include practical as well as inspiring talks from some of the leading storytellers in various industries. We feel in order to communicate with our world today we must understand the craft, discipline and power of storytelling. If we combine these skills with an understanding of the story telling tools, we can be heard above the sea of messages in our media-saturated culture.