Chasing Creativity & the Art of Storytelling
Pearls shared by Neil Stevenson, High Wizard of Chaos at IDEO
Watch the interview here.

Use the Bar Test to Prototype Your Story:
Next time you have to communicate something in the work environment, practice communicating it first to your friends over beers, coffee, or tea. We call this the “bar test,” a verbal story prototype that we teach in the Storytelling for Influence course. Prototype your story ideas by talking them out in a human context before writing them down in a professional context.

Beware of the Danger of Expertise:
There’s this danger in the comfort of expertise and there’s huge value in putting yourself in situations where you’re the opposite of an expert—where you’re a beginner, where you’re learning. Try putting yourself in situations that have an intentional level of discomfort. This is often a stepping point toward bold new learning.

On the Importance of Fear in Creativity:
It’s easy to think of fear as a warning, but in the creative context, fear can sometimes be a beacon that you’re going into new, growth-inducing territory. All forms of creativity involve some sort of dissonance and there’s often a feeling of, maybe I shouldn’t do this. There is a policeman inside your head, and he must be destroyed. In the context of storytelling, in order to conquer (or minimize!) your fear you really need to get out and take action. There’s a tendency for people to wait and then wing it with their stories and presentations.

Less Like a Powerpoint, More Like a Campfire:
Make your stories and presentations more impactful by imagining them as time around the campfire with your audience. Partner with your audience and remember a story is an emotional journey.

It’s a Never-ending Journey:
Chasing creativity is kind of like chasing a rainbow. You only have one life, you should push yourself to do all the things that seem scary to you. The act of doing it will immediately push you somewhere new.


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