How to do Storytelling In Meetings: Jeff Bezos’ Framework

Yesterday, I shared this post on how to do better storytelling in meetings in the workplace.

But you’re wondering, well, “how do I do it?”

I share how in this newsletter.


 

In 2004, Jeff Bezos famously banned power point presentations in favor of a hosting meetings with a memo that follows a narrative style.

His reason?

The Power point is easy for the author.

Not for the audience.

It requires more thought. More input. Full sentences.

Tim O Brien, who published books on the Vietnam War, said “Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is.”

A client had a tough task ahead. Her team and board did not reflect the demographic she served.

It was all male white clinicians in lab coats. The demographic she served was primarily Black, Hispanic, and Asian.

She needed to make change.

I explain Bezos’ storytelling framework for meetings through her example:

#1 Objectives

As she looked at the data projections, she had one objective:

More people of color would need organ donations in the near future.

Personnel in the hospital, her team, her board, had to BE persons of color to meet this need.

She distilled her objective to one word:

Diversify.

Simple.

#2 Past Analytics

The next step in creating a bright new future for her company was to look at the past. She first had to acknowledge what was good.

In 2013, the number of white donors versus people of color donors was equal

In 2016, her board and staff was 100% white.

By 2022, 55% was white, 45% was people of color.

The organ donor population reflected the demographics of the organ recipients list.

#3 Reasons for Change

What was the cost of not solving this problem?

The need for organ donations for and from people of color was going up.

#4 Benefits

Under her tenure,  
In 2016, donors that were persons of color: 134

IN 2022, donors that were persons of color: 210

She painted the vision for the future.

-Less people on waitlists

-More people of color living healthy, active lives as a result of organ donation

She took every opportunity to share the story

In

  • interviews
  • speeches
  • town halls
  • team huddles
  • one on ones with board members

#5 Defense against objections

Her data showed where the potential opportunity lie:

Solid processes and systems needed to be in place to get to the donor at the most critical moment.

Onboarding and training personnel to intervene at those critical moments, with the hospitals’ cooperation was the key.

Someone who looked like the family making the organ donation, had to be seated across the table from them at the critical moment of saying ‘yes.’

That’s how she got organ donation numbers up.



One leadership tip

Storytelling that drives bold change

One public speaking tip

Instead of saying, “That’s not my problem.” Say this

One adventure tip

June 8th, I’m hosting a day sail from Nice, France to Cannes to this underwater eco museum with huge art installations we can snorkel through.

Interested in joining? We have 2 spots remaining. $499pp for the day.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1.Join the Samita Lab Mastermind. Join 8 other women leaders in the core program that sits at the center of my business model. The Mastermind teaches you exactly how to build a powerful person brand and the mindset to support it. Learn how to do storytelling for business. Then harvest 1 thing that is universal and needs to be heard now for your TEDx talk on stage in front of 200 people at the end of the 12 months. Apply for the 2025 waitlist here

2. Download my E-book   Join 50 women in reading this comprehensive book where I teach you how I landed my own TEDx Talk in 2013 and break down, step by step, how to land yours.

3. Take my “Art of Influence” masterclass:  Join 3500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy.

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