The Legacy of Inspirational Speaking with Tom Ziglar (#65)

Storytelling with Inspirational Speaker and Keeper of the Ziglar Legacy, Tom Ziglar

Tom Ziglar runs the Ziglar media empire, helping the legacy of his dad Zig Ziglar live on. As CEO of Ziglar and key collaborator on his father’s 30th book, Born to Win, Tom carries on the organization’s “profoundly simple” philosophy: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

He also takes the stage, addresses leadership of all levels, co-hosts the podcast, The Ziglar Show, Inspiring Your True Performance, with Kevin Miller (our guest from season 2)… he’s definitely an inspirational storyteller.

“I started doing presentations and speaking … reluctantly. I was the guy who prepared the stage for The World’s Best. I was nervous. The story I told myself was, ‘They want me to be like my dad.’ But no. I realized they just want me to be the best version of myself.” - Tom Ziglar on his storytelling journey

Personal Branding for Storytellers with Kristen Hartnagel (#64)

Branding coach, personal brand strategist and storyteller Kristen Hartnagel

Kristen Hartnagel knows how to tell a story and frame a personal brand. Here’s a great quote from her LinkedIn: "Be a Magnet, Not a Megaphone." 

Kristen is a branding coach and personal brand strategist working for Brand Builders Group. Their mission inspires. They are a personal brand strategy firm for influencers and entrepreneurs. Their services are designed to clarify your positioning, expand your reach, and increase your revenues.

Kristen has been a professional trainer and speaker for years, inspiring others from the stage. You can see why Kristen is a great fit for this season of inspirational storytellers. She's also here to offer a little insight into how to craft your personal brand as a storyteller. She also happens to be a singer/songwriter.

A major part of Kristen’s world is encouraging others to step out of their comfort zones, leave the past behind and reach for greater success.. She says that ships are safe and cozy in the harbor, but is that what they were meant for?

“Ships are meant to take on the sea. The sea when it’s calm and inviting, and the sea when it’s raging with uncertainty. I think we cheat ourselves when we play it safe.” - Kristen Hartnagel on how to grow

Vocal Awareness Coach of the Stars Arthur Joseph (#63)

Storytelling with a Purpose - Lessons from Legendary Vocal Coach Arthur Samuel Joseph

If you’re speaking in front of another person – or many – it’s not a presentation. At least, it shouldn’t be. It should be – a performance. That’s how Arthur Joseph sees it. And that’s how he teaches others to see it. From NFL Hall of Fame inductees like Emmitt Smith to Hollywood heavy hitters like Angeline Jolie, Arthur has helped thousands up their speaking game. 

Now, he’s ready to help you grow. Arthur wants to do more than just bring a tip or two… he’s ready to offer you, my audience a Masterclass feel for our conversation. 

Whether it’s preparing for a TED talk or a business presentation (performance!) – whether a keynote or a quarterly earnings report, or any kind of oral story, Arthur can help you go beyond the next level as a storyteller.

“I’d like us to step back each day as often as we can, allow a Conscious Loving Breath and slow this process down a bit. Let’s not just stream this data. Let’s learn how to embody the message and the messenger as we tell our story.” - Arthur Joseph on social media

A Storyteller's Not-So-Secret Weapon: Conversational Writing with Nick Usborne (#62)

Nick Usborne is The Conversational Copywriter. Conversational copywriting could change your business, your personal brand or your career.

Whether you own a salon or you’re a dentist, how you communicate with your potential clients matters. Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll need to communicate (or maybe hire a writer).

So often my goal here is to inspire, not necessarily instruct. Nick does both. We talk about what conversational writing is, what it isn’t, how to do it well and take your storytelling to the next level, and so much more. This is a great episode to take notes on!

“If I write you a 4-page [marketing] letter I know that I’m going to lose the most people at the end of each page… never end a sentence at the bottom of a page.” - Nick Usborne on the art of holding attention

Telling Inspirational Stories through Photographs with Brian Kelly (#61)

Visual Storyteller Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly, a photographer and filmmaker based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, tells story through photos and video. He travels frequently, as he puts it, to wherever he needs to be. Seth Meyers, Whoopi Goldberg, Betty White, Eminem…. Brian’s portrait photography portfolio includes high-profile subjects. But it’s not all he does.

Brian’s passion is to shoot and communicate stories. A seasoned photographer and director, he has more than 20 years of experience on productions all over the country. Hybrid shoots are his specialty, where he and his create awesome video and print assets during the same production. This visual storyteller took time to explore the craft of storytelling. He started as a still photographer and has grown as a creator with technology advancements and encourages us to do the same – always grow and explore new ways to tell stories.

“I would leverage relationships with current clients and encourage them to try video. We still need high quality images. That hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that we take a hybrid approach to production… so alongside the photographs you’re creating video.” – Brian Kelly on evolving as a storyteller

Sharing Stories of The Greatest Generation with Earl Morse (#60)

Storytelling with Honor Flight network Co-Founder Earl Morse

Today’s guest is inspirational to many, even if he’s not technically a motivational speaker. But, he has motivated thousands of people to mobilize and serve on an amazing mission.

Earl Morse co-founded an organization that serves veterans in their later years – starting first with World War II vets, moving on to Korean War and Vietnam vets. It’s called Honor Flight Network, and it’s made up of more than a hundred local hubs… all because Earl saw a need and convinced a few other pilots to begin flying veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial built in their honor.

Since May 21, 2005, thousands of veterans have taken their Honor Flight from all over the country. Earl Morse tells a great story, and has heard many, many more.

“The world is free because of [these veterans]. They’re in our community still to this day.” - Earl Morse

No Arms, No Feet, No Problem: David Powell (#59)


David Powell’s inspirational journey began at birth being born without hands and malformed legs.  However, challenges have never slowed him down.

David was born in New Orleans. As a child he got around in an electric wheelchair using his feet as his hands. After the separation of his parents, David relocated to Dallas, TX. He then became a patient at Scottish Rite Hospital for children and started walking with the help of prosthetics.

With his feet no longer available, he once again adapted and learned to do everything he did with his feet, with his arms. As a freshman in high school, David lost his mother to a drug overdose, leaving him devastated. A few years later he fell into a dark hole of drug addiction and alcoholism until the age of 29.

Over time, and after a move to Salina, KS, David once again beat the odds and overcame those struggles. He is now fulfilling one of his lifetime dreams of becoming a motivational speaker to help people though helpful messages on life and its perspectives.

Veteran Stories Through Photographs with Jim Swoboda (#58)

Inspiring stories through pictures with photographer Jim Swoboda

Photographer Jim Swoboda puts his skill and expertise to work for non-profits like Honor Flight, crafting inspirational stories from photos. Jim also explores nature and man-made structures with his camera, capturing the world around us with his unique perspective.

Sometimes the best stories are the ones captured as people do ordinary things, but with extraordinary meaning.

“Our most moving ones, as we’ve been moving more into the Vietnam [veterans]. Those are pretty poignant when we get to the Wall with some Vietnam vets. They all know somebody on the Wall, if not many people on the Wall.” - Jim Swoboda on telling veteran stories with Honor Flight

Poet, Motivational Speaker, Convicted Murderer Will Latif Little (#57)

From Convicted Murderer to Motivational Speaker, a Conversation with Poet Will Latif Little

Today’s guest is a mentor, activist, poet, author, inspirational Speaker who has appeared on the TEDx stage … and a man convicted of murder.

Will Latif Little grew up in a single-parent home with his four sisters in Philadelphia. Without his father, or any father figure, Will began to venture out, picking up bad habits and negative ideas on the street. Becoming a product of his environment, Will dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and got involved in the Philadelphia drug trade and other illegal activities. This ultimately landed Will in prison for 10-20 years on a murder conviction at the age of 19.

While in prison, Will decided to turn his life around, by first getting his diploma by way of a GED. He became a voracious reader. What began as a way to pass the time actually helped him become a man, a storyteller, and an inspiration to others.

“He stalked me before. He had guns out, and saw me at restaurants and places with my lady and my daughter. He said everywhere he went, ‘everyone loves you but I didn’t care, you killed my brother.’” - Will Little on meeting the brother of his shooting victim

S4E13: The Last Stories Part 2 (#56)

If you could only tell one last story, what story would that be?

Each episode, I ask my guest this question. The premise is that we’re all storytellers at our core, and that “last story” would probably be a big deal. Over 54 interviews, I’ve heard a different answer each and every time.

Each answer is not only different, but feels different in its nature. It’s been a lot of fun hearing from each storyteller what their “last story” might be, or might look like.

In part 2, we hear from seasons 3 and 4 of The Storytellers Network. Enjoy.

S4E12: The Last Stories Part 1 (#55)

If you could only tell one last story, what story would that be?

Each episode, I ask my guest this question. The premise is that we’re all storytellers at our core, and that “last story” would probably be a big deal. Over 54 interviews, I’ve heard a different answer each and every time.

Each answer is not only different, but feels different in its nature. It’s been a lot of fun hearing from each storyteller what their “last story” might be, or might look like.

In part 1, we hear from seasons 1 and 2 of The Storytellers Network. Enjoy.

S4E11: Shawn Callahan, @shawncallahan @anecdote (#54)

Putting Stories to Work: Mastering Business Storytelling

Shawn Callahan, a sought-after keynote speaker, international business consultant and executive coach, works with global organizations such as Mars, Danone, Allianz, SAP, Tesco and Shell. He is the founder of Anecdote, the world's largest business storytelling company, where they help leaders and sellers around the world to find and tell oral stories with impact.

He's also the award-winning author of Putting Stories to Work: Mastering Business Storytelling.

Interesting trivia: this guy holds a bachelor's degree in geography and archaeology from the Australian National University. 

And Shawn loves giving away “the secret” to storytelling so much, that he even gets pulled aside at presentations to be scolded!

“He came up to me, grabbed me by the arm, pulled me in close and says ‘I resent what you’re doing here.’ Then he pulled me in closer and said, ‘Because you’re giving away my secrets.’” - Shawn Callahan on the power of story

S4E10: Park Howell, The Business of Story @ParkHowell (#53)

Storytelling with Business Storyteller Park Howell

Get any Point Across With the Applied Science and Bewitchery of Story

Podcaster, brand story strategist, keynote speaker… and STORYTELLER Park Howell joins the show on Season 4, Episode 10.

Park is the president of Park & Co, a Phoenix-based brand consultancy that has ignited the growth of purpose-driven clients for 20 years. Park & Co uses its proprietary Story Cycle process to create abundance for the greater good. Park created and teaches his Story Cycle curriculum in the Executive Masters for Sustainability Leadership program at Arizona State University. His podcast, Business of Story, connects business leaders and communicators with top story artists, authors, screenwriters, and others ranks among the top business podcasts on iTunes.​

From great businesses to classic music, Park sees story inspiration everywhere.

“You find, especially when you’re pulling apart great pieces like Beethoven and Mozart wrote… you couldn’t help, even like a math ditz like me, seeing how math plays into… the rhythm of the piece… that really helped me as a writer.” - Park Howell on the rhythm of writing

S4E9: Mike Adams, Sales Storyteller @MikeAdamsSales (#52)

Engineer turned salesperson, Mike Adams taught himself storytelling 'on the job' while selling and managing sales teams in the United Kingdom, Russia, India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia for international corporations Schlumberger, Siemens, Nokia and Halliburton. Since 2014, Mike has been helping companies find and develop their own stories through his storytelling consulting practice. 

His book Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell helps those who sell, tell. The book takes readers on a high-stakes sales journey, using stories to establish rapport and trust, deliver insight, inspire action and close the deal, and in doing so win new friends and collaborators. Sharing more than 50 stories from around the world, Mike draws on his diverse international sales career to teach and demonstrate the power of storytelling -- from first hello to signed contract.

Mike is married with three sons and lives in Melbourne, Australia… and today Mike Adams shares with The Storytellers Network his storytelling craft, successes and stumbles… in other words, his story.

“[Sales people] are in a category, that if you make up a story, you blow your credibility. You don’t have the credibility to tell a mythical story or fable.” - Mike Adams on honesty in sales storytelling

S4E8: Stephanie Baiocchi, @stephbaiocchi (#51)

She’s a natural storyteller who’s changing the world of marketing.

“To say I'm passionate about inbound would be an understatement. Whether it's creating inbound marketing content, enabling my inbound sales team, delighting customers or merging account based everything with the inbound methodology, I use HubSpot and bleed orange.“

Stephanie Baiocchi is the Director of Audience Engagement & Community at IMPACT and absolutely loves connecting with people and building relationships. She has been using HubSpot for 6 years across a variety of industries on the client and agency side.

Stephanie is also a co-leader of the Chicago HubSpot User Group. She is a Carthage College graduate with a B.A. in Public Relations and German. She also owns a highly coveted HubSpot bicycle! You can catch Stephanie co-hosting IMPACT's weekly Facebook live show or engaging with the community in Elite.

”I think you have to tell a story in order to connect with people. And so much of my job is connecting with people.” Stephanie Baiocchi on community/audience engagement

S4E7: Alicia Smith, News Anchor @WXYZAlicia (#50)

Get ready to hear from a major metropolitan news desk. Alicia Smith is the weekday co-anchor of “7 Action News This Morning” on Detroit’s ABC affiliate WXYZ from 4:30 until 7:00 every morning. She joined WXYZ in January 2007 as an anchor/reporter/multi-media journalist and is a cheerleader of Channel 7's #earlyrisers on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve admired Alicia’s social media usage over the years. Her authenticity and willingness to share the behind the scenes stories helps make news real. She’s also an award-winning storyteller. Alicia is a three-time Emmy winner who has been recognized for both her anchoring and her reporting. Today, you get to hear Alicia’s story, and her passion for a free (and local) press.

“When people look at us like we are the enemy, it breaks my heart. We are one of you. We live in your community. There’s this vitriol in our country where everything becomes politicized. I would just like to remind people that the [local] media - not the national media who’s paid to have an opinion - you need those people on the front lines fighting for you, holding people accountable.” Alicia Smith on the idea of a free press

S4E6: Scott Monty, @ScottMonty (#49)

He’s a keynote speaker, advisor and strategy consultant; husband, dad, voice over artist, golfer and man about town. He’s a natural storyteller, as well as one professionally. Scott Monty is a corporate executive steeped in digital.

Scott was ranked by The Economist as number one atop the list 25 Social Business Leaders and by Forbes as one of the top 10 influencers in social media. Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, called him "a visionary."

Scott ran Ford’s social media and digital communications from 2008 until 2014. During his leadership, Ford was the first company to reveal a vehicle on Facebook, and the first brand to join the now defunct Google+.

He also has another decade and a half of experience in communications and marketing agencies. Scott's clients have included Walmart, IBM, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Google.

“We’ve taken this promise of a two-way communications network, and we’ve turned it into yet another advertising platform. So now you’re going to interrupt people and pay to have your crappy stories in front of them, instead of just telling better stories.” - Scott Monty on what we get wrong in social media

S4E5: Jeshua Lauka, a Social Attorney, @JeshuaTLauka (#48)

When I think of lawyers doing any kind of marketing or advertising, I think of the big, ugly billboards along the highway that scream at you to call am 800-number the next time you’re in a crash. Or I think of terrible jingles on the radio reminding you that the next time you’re caught driving drunk, you don’t have to pay the price.

Now, I have friends who are attorneys and I don’t think they’re all bad. I was still impressed with Jeshua Lauka, who uses social media to share stories and inspiration in order to develop relationships, which just might lead to new business. Imagine, using social media… to be social!

Jeshua Lauka from Grand Rapids, Michigan is incredibly talented at using social well, and not just spamming his connections with junk. According to his LinkedIn profile, Jeshua is “an attorney at a boutique business law firm located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan” where he “practices Business, Real Estate, Estate and Trust work, and related litigation.”

He loves what he does and has a special passion for non-profit, board governance, and social enterprise. He also writes about legal issues on his own blog, and isn’t afraid to be authentic and even vulnerable.

“We all want to show the best of ourselves. Nobody likes to share our weaknesses… I think those are things that make us human and things that allow us to connect. Do those things you might be uncomfortable with [sharing]. Be your authentic self.” - Jeshua Lauka on vulnerability and authenticity in storytelling

S4E4: James Breakwell, @XplodingUnicorn (#47)

In this episode, we hear from: a comedy writer, social media powerhouse (100k on Instagram, 1Million on Twitter, nearly 300k on Facebook), podcaster, author, webcomic creator, amateur father of four daughters all under 10 years old… so you KNOW he’s a storyteller. James Breakwell is the man behind “Exploding Unicorn.”

He’s also writer of two books, Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent’s Guide for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse and the upcoming (November 2018 release) Bare Minimum Parenting: The Ultimate Guide to Not Quite Ruining Your Child.

Since becoming internet famous, James has been profiled by USA TodayUS WeeklyThe Daily MailMetroThe TelegraphCosmopolitanBetter Homes and GardensBuzzfeedHuffington PostUpworthyThe ChiveBored Panda9gagCollege Humor, various ABC and Fox TV news affiliates, and countless other TV, radio, and internet outlets. Pictures of his smiling girls have been displayed in newspapers as far away as India. His articles have appeared in Reader’s DigestThe Federalist, and AskMen. He writes a bi-monthly newspaper column for the IndyStar and has been a guest multiple times on HLN’s The Daily Share.

Social media is the platform James has used to build an audience for his writing. His insight is inspirational.

“I’m really lucky that my hobby and my passion actually help people. I’m not necessarily a good person, it just happens that my hobby does help people. It’s just a fortunate side effect. I’m lucky the side effect isn’t smog or pollution.” - James Breakwell

S4E3: Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner, @Mike_Stelzner (#46)

As we explore storytelling in social media, we get to hear from the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers, and the man behind Social Media Marketing World–the industry’s largest conference. He’s also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society, and the central character in The Journey, an episodic documentary. 

Michael Stelzner lives and breathes storytelling and social media. While we explore his story, we dig some interesting nuggets about social media and how it affects storytellers today.

“If you think about this industry of social media and how young it is, it’s just 10 years old… so what you have is a lot of people who, around 2008 when it really started blowing up, were out of work. They started realizing they could make a career out of interacting with people on the internet. That was shocking to them!” - Michael Stelzner on the career jumpstarts in social media