Paul Smith

Author of the bestselling book, Lead With A Story, Director of Consumer & Communications Research at The Procter & Gamble Company, and a highly-rated trainer in P&G training colleges for leadership and communication.

Paul Smith - LeadWithAStory- cover picbestseller

“Paul….what can I say! You were absolutely phenomenal!  I came across an article that you were featured in last year (2013) and had you on my wish list.  I just knew our audience would love you!”
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Paul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on organizational storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and author of the books Sell with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and the bestseller Lead with a Story already in its 8th printing and available in 6 language around the world. Paul is also a former consultant at Accenture and former executive and 20-year veteran of The Procter & Gamble Company.

As part of his research on the effectiveness of storytelling, Paul has personally interviewed over 250 CEOs, executives, leaders, and salespeople in 25 countries, documenting over 2,000 individual stories. Leveraging those stories and interviews, Paul identified the components of effective storytelling, and developed templates and tools to apply them in practice. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Time, Forbes, The Washington Post, PR News, and Success Magazine, among others.

Paul delivers professional workshops and keynote addresses on effective storytelling for leaders and salespeople. His clients include international giants like Hewlett Packard, Ford Motor Company, Bayer Medical, Abbott, Novartis, Progressive Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, and Procter & Gamble.

Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio.


Description of Lead with a Story – from the publisher:

Stories move us. They engage us. They inspire us. Stories give us examples of how to act . . . and how not to act. The best ones stay with us forever. So why are you still trying to get your ideas across using PowerPoint slides?

Storytelling may be an age-old tradition, but in today’s corporate world, it’s also been embraced as a uniquely powerful business practice. Top organizations utilize it as a means to communicate vision. Forward-thinking business schools now include storytelling courses in their management curriculum. As a leader or a manager, if you’re not using storytelling as a method to rally your troops and convince others of your ideas, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

Packed with over 100 ready-to-use narratives organized by different business challenges, Lead with a Story helps you get started . . . even if you think you don’t know the first thing about telling a story. The book shows you how to connect with bosses, employees, customers, and others on a deep and immediate level using the power of story. It includes examples from more than 50 organizations in 30 industries and from 15 countries around the world, including companies like Kellogg’s, Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, Verizon, Dun & Bradstreet, Saatchi & Saatchi, and more.

In Lead with a Story, corporate storytelling expert Paul Smith helps you choose a story tailor-made for your own particular need, adapt the ready-made stories, and even craft your own. You’ll learn how to use emotionally driven narrative to:

 

  • Establish a vision for the future
  • Set goals and build commitment
  • Lead change
  • Make recommendations that stick
  • Define customer service success and failure
  • Mold your organization’s culture and values
  • Encourage collaboration and build relationships
  • Move people to value diversity and inclusion
  • Set policy without rules
  • Energize, inspire, and motivate your team
  • Help others find passion for their work
  • Teach important lessons
  • Provide coaching and feedback
  • Demonstrate problem solving
  • Empower others
  • Delegate authority and give permission
  • Encourage innova­tion and creativity
  • Earn respect from day one
  • And much more

Stories do much more than entertain—they actually engage your audience’s brains, creating an experience in which they learn a lesson, share a belief, and envision results as if they were there. This enormously practical and inspiring book lets you in on one of the most important leadership techniques that exists, and shows you how to use it naturally and effortlessly in every area of your work.

image001
 

 
Keynote and Workshop descriptions:
 

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

Drawing on his exclusive one-on-one interviews with hundreds of CEOs and executives in over 20 countries, Paul Smith, bestselling author of Lead with a Story, shares leadership insights from CEOs at Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Dun & Bradstreet, Kellogg’s, Alltel Wireless, Saatchi & Saatchi-X, and others.   

These executive lessons span leadership topics such as setting a vision, holding P&L leaders accountable for results, leading change, defining corporate values, encouraging creativity, inspiring the organization, and influencing new management on the way out. 

You’ll also learn why you should be using more storytelling in your work, when you should be telling stories (and when not), as well as actionable tools you can start using immediately to improve the effectiveness of your leadership stories.

STORYTELLING KEYNOTE

Storytelling has emerged as one of the most sought-after skills in the business world. Whether you’re trying to set a vision, lead change, sell a product, define the culture, encourage creativity, or just inspire the organization, storytelling can help you do it better. 

Paul Smith, best-selling author of the books Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story and the upcoming book Sell with a Story, will share what he’s learned from his extensive research in storytelling, including in-depth one-on-one interviews with over 250 executives and leaders in 20 countries around the world.  

You’ll learn why you should be using more storytelling in your work, when you should be telling stories (and when not), as well as actionable tools you can start using immediately to improve the effectiveness of your storytelling. 

STORYTELLING WORKSHOP

In this interactive, hands-on workshop participants learn how to craft compelling business stories that resonate with their audience to drive people to action. 

Based on Paul Smith’s best-selling book, Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire, topics include the structure of a business story (context, conflict, resolution, hero, villain, plot, etc.) plus the appropriate use of emotion, surprise, dialogue, and how to find exactly the right story for any situation. 

Bring a story to class. You’ll need it. Throughout the course, participants are challenged with exercises and follow a one-page story assessment scorecard and roadmap to more effective stories. Plus you’ll be highly engaged with inspiring stories from dozens of leaders and executives at successful companies around the world.

STORYTELLING FOR SALES

The selling process starts well before a sales call ever occurs and continues long after the sale has been made and the product delivered. The best sales people use storytelling at every phase of the process and have mastered its use.

Based on the research behind Paul Smith’s book, Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale, participants will discover: 

  •      what is a sales story
  •      why you should tell them
  •      the 25 sales stories all salespeople need
  •      how to craft and deliver them for maximum impact

Time permitting, participants will learn specific techniques for:

  • How to choose the right story
  • Proper story structure (Hook, Context, Challenge, Conflict, Resolution, Lesson, Action)
  • The proper use of emotion
  • The element of surprise
  • Dialogue, details, and length
  • Oral vs. written delivery
  • Telling stories with data
  • The ethics of storytelling
  • Where to find great stories
  • How to practice and save stories

Testimonials

“I just wanted to say thank you for connecting us with Paul and recommending him.  His sessions were fantastic and our attendees were really receptive to his story telling concept.  The conversations all week centered around telling effective stories so his message really resonated.”
Vice President Training and Certification, National Security Association

“I love it! Stories . . . allow for a real connection with the customer. And Sell with a Story is THE book to teach you how to do that.”
Gary Cofer, Chief Commercial Officer, GfK North America

“Paul Smith has done it once again! Sell with a Story is a practical and useful resource for anybody selling anything!”
Mike Parrott, Vice President/GMM, Costco Wholesale

“Paul Smith’s book Sell with a Story is simply the most comprehensive book ever written on the science and the art of using authentic stories in the sales process.”
Anthony Mullen, CEO, the Advanced Sales Summit

“Paul Smith is scary smart, an amazing storyteller.”
Chip Heath NYT best-selling author Made to Stick and Switch

“Honestly one of the most inspirational and engaging trainings I’ve ever had!” 
“Fantastic examples made presenting real. Didn’t seem like training but rather a conversation.”
Procter & Gamble participants

“Paul was a consummate professional from the start! He doesn’t rush to tell you what he knows but rather focuses on learning about you and your event and needs. He has persuasive stories to tell in his keynote, engages his audience in a disarming way and clearly provides attendees with tangible and memorable tools.”
Robin Cisneros, Kaiser Permanente

“Thanks so much for your great training. It was everything I expected and more.”
Colleen Bridger, Health Director, Gaston County North Carolina Department of Health

“Just a quick note to congratulate you on your excellent training course. We were all completely engaged and immediately looking for ways to put your ideas into practice.”
Robert Atencio, Vice-President, Insights & Customer Strategy Wal-Mart Stores US

“I found Mr. Smith’s presentation to be one of the most enlightening half hours of my life in all honesty.” “This was an uncommonly memorable event.”
Erik Honkonen and Anthony Hollingsworth, Hendrix College


Paul Smith’s blogs:

Real Time Analytics