How to craft a story that sticks in just 30 seconds (and why it’s all you need)

Craft A Story That Sticks In Just 30 Seconds

Most people think learning good storytelling takes 10,000 hours.

But I can explain it to you in 30 seconds.

A quick breakdown on:

  • [#1] What

  • [#2] How

  • [#3] When

Let’s dive in…


[#1] What

Start with the end in mind. Work backwards. 

What is the one message you want to leave the audience with? If dinosaurs were destroying the earth and you could get one line out, what would that be? 

I once had a client put 9 stories into one talk. 

Eight of them didn’t funnel up to a central message because—she didn’t have one yet. I challenged to really think hard about the one message the audience had to hear.

Then harvest the supporting story.


[#2] How

Good storytelling comes from your own lived experience.

I watched Oscar nominee “Past Lives” this weekend, written and directed by Korean American Celine Song. Its her immigration story as a young girl from Seoul, a town that couldn’t contain her ambition. No piece of AI will ever replace this.

Personal stories just flow out of you.

They are so much easier to tell. Learn the science behind it here in this video.


Or it comes from observing others


In 2011, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats shared the company’s “22 Rules For Storytelling.”

Rule #10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

90% of being a good writer or storyteller is being a good noticer.

Notice when things resonate with you and start asking why.

In “Past Lives” Song tees up that the fact that we all wear multiple identities. (I know I do.) In moments of beautiful dialogue the protagonist challenges the main female lead, “To me, you will always be someone who leaves.” He points to her husband, seated next to her and says, “To him, you will always be someone who stays.”

Tell a story from your own experience. Don’t overcomplicate. Pick a micro moment and bring your audience into it. The high level of detail will fire mirror neurons in the audience’s imagination make them feel like they are right there with you.

[#3] When


  • A wedding speech

  • Pitching for investor dollars.

  • A Keynote speech.

  • An impromptu speech.


On to this week’s newsletter


One leadership tip

Asking for negative feedback makes you a better manager


One public speaking tip

Jennie Haire, co founder of Gigi Supplements, shared her pitching challenges with me for 30 minutes. She asked me questions for 30 minutes.

A quick hack to gaining gravitas while pitching.


One adventure tip

Spend Christmas in Paris.



Let me take you on a journey —a journey where the streets of Paris aren’t just a backdrop, but a key to unlocking your own narrative magic. This is more than a trip; it’s an invitation to transform.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the go-to person for creating unforgettable moments, turning ordinary days into extraordinary experiences. It was during one such moment, that my friend Elli suggested I had missed my calling. Perhaps he were right. Leaving behind the world of TV, I built a business helping women to tell better stories about themselves.

This journey led me to create the VIP Day—a concept born out of a desire to offer something profoundly personal and transformative. But why Paris, you might wonder? Because Paris does something magical; it opens up spaces in the mind for creativity, pushes boundaries, and introduces a level of comfort and challenge that is rare and exhilarating.

Introducing Strategic Solitude

This is where my story takes a turn, and where your story begins. Strategic Solitude is my reimagined vision of the VIP Day. It’s not about solitude in the conventional sense; it’s about finding strength in quiet moments, guidance through introspection, and the courage to explore new territories, both within and without.

Imagine a 3 day, 2 night agenda, tailored just for you, in Lisbon, Paris, Nice, or Barcelona in 2024, where we dive deep into your storytelling goals. But it’s not all work; it’s about immersing ourselves in the culture, the history, and the beauty of these places. It’s about finding inspiration in every corner, every conversation, and every pastisserie.

My role? Think of me as your guide, your confidant, and your collaborator. With a background in TV production, I bring a meticulous attention to detail and a knack for planning the perfect experience. From ensuring we have a Plan B (and C) to partnering with the best local experts, I’m committed to making every moment count.

Why Strategic Solitude?

Because in today’s world, true solitude is rare. It’s about stepping away from the noise to truly listen—to ourselves, to each other, and to the stories that shape us. It’s in these moments of solitude that we find clarity, inspiration, and the courage to lead.

Your Journey Awaits

With only four slots available each year, this experience is as exclusive as it gets. It’s designed for those ready to embrace the unknown, to challenge themselves, and to discover the power of their own story amidst the narratives of some of the world’s most captivating cities.

This journey is a commitment—a commitment to exploration, to growth, and to the transformative power of solitude and storytelling. If this resonates with you, I invite you to fill out this form

2024 Destinations:

  • Lisbon

  • Barcelona

  • Florence

  • Nice

  • Christmas in Paris

This is more than an invitation to travel; it’s an invitation to discover, to grow, and to transform.

I look forward to crafting these moments with you. Join me in embracing the rare gift of Strategic Solitude, and let’s make your next journey one that echoes through the stories you’ll tell for years to come


Noelia Kvaternik, Noelia Yoga and Wellness

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