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Shawn Callahan

Award-winning author, business storytelling specialist and podcast host.

I help leaders and sellers find and tell great oral stories.

A little example: I remember helping a GM pitch his budget to his board. No Powerpoint. He just told the story of what had happened, what he was planning and why, and what it would be like when they succeeded. He got a couple of basic questions, then the chair asked, “and what extra resources would you need to do it faster?” This was vastly different from anything he experienced before.

I love it when leaders and sellers develop the habit of storytelling. It could be front-line managers or senior executives. Everyone at work needs to be heard and inspire action.

I also have the privilege of helping CEOs and their team tell the story of their strategy.

I’ve helped some of the world’s top companies make their strategies stick, including Fortune 500 firms in New York, London, Singapore and Australia.

My specialty is helping technically-minded leaders to find and tell the stories that engage the emotions of, and ultimately inspire action from, their technically-minded audiences.

In 2016 I wrote the best selling and award-winning book, Putting Stories to Work: Master Business Storytelling, where I shared what I have learned so far.

I don’t think anyone sets out the be a professional business storytelling coach.

For me, I started as a geographer and archaeologist before working in IT with the likes of Oracle, Sybase and IBM. My story-work began in 1999 while at IBM, at the Cynefin Centre, applying complexity theory to business issues. This is where I learned the power of small stories, anecdotes, rather than Hollywood inspired story methods.

In 2004 I founded Anecdote. I had one clear aim in mind – to use story-work to bring humanity back to organisations.

In the years of pioneering international consulting since then, we have taught leaders and sellers how to be compelling storytellers and collected powerful organisational stories that prompt employees to work out for themselves what needs to change. It is an approach that continues to break new ground.

Anecdote is now in the privileged position of being one of the most experienced and highly regarded story-based communications agency in the world. We operate in 22 countries and 11 languages.

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