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Don’t Convince. Inspire! Lessons on storytelling and product evangelizing.

178c910f0513118f65a0d8fad69ecf0c?s=47 Petra Wille
October 20, 2021

Don’t Convince. Inspire! Lessons on storytelling and product evangelizing.

Most product people know that storytelling and product evangelizing skills are essential in their roles. But many PMs struggle to build that muscle, especially if their inner critic is telling them that they are not a great storyteller. Sound familiar? Join this session if you want to mute your inner critic and learn more about the power of stories.

Petra will talk about the evolutionary advantage of telling good stories and why everybody has the power and ability to create them. Plus, she will share some hands-on tips and proven frameworks to help you improve your storytelling capabilities.


Petra Wille

October 20, 2021


  1. Petra Wille | @loomista Lessons on storytelling and product evangelizing.

    Petra Wille | @loomista Don’t convince. Inspire!
  2. Petra Wille | @loomista Petra Wille | @loomista Petra Wille

    is an independent product leadership coach and author of STRONG Product People
  3. Petra Wille | @loomista No professional storytelling skills

  4. Petra Wille | @loomista What is your favorite fiction book/novel?

    What is your favorite character in that story? How did you feel while reading it?
  5. Petra Wille | @loomista Have you once felt the same

    excitement after an actual event, like someone giving a talk, sharing a vision? What was the occasion? Who was the person talking/inspiring you?
  6. Petra Wille | @loomista Would you like to be as

    inspiring as the person you just noted?
  7. Petra Wille | @loomista You struggle to picture yourself as

    a great story teller.
  8. Petra Wille | @loomista Let me help you re-frame storytelling

    to mute your inner critic* *Shout out to Denise Jacobs here ☺
  9. Petra Wille | @loomista Why stories are important - especially

    if you are working in product Why I call them a design tool Why it´s easy to improve your storytelling • Structures and ingredients of compelling stories • Some great resources to learn more I will share:
  10. Petra Wille | @loomista Why stories are important

  11. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash

  12. Petra Wille | @loomista

  13. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by quokkabottles on Unsplash

  14. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

  15. Petra Wille | @loomista Oxytocin which causes us to build

    trust, generosity, and a personal connection Endorphins which can make someone laugh or help them deal with fear, pain, or uncertainty Dopamine which leads to a desire to know what happens next when you tell a story with peaks and cliffhangers
  16. Petra Wille | @loomista “We think in stories, remember in

    stories, and turn just about everything we experience into a story.” Carl Alviani (October 11, 2018). The Science Behind Storytelling. Retrieved from
  17. Petra Wille | @loomista

  18. Petra Wille | @loomista What Stories Do

  19. Petra Wille | @loomista #deathtostock

  20. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Nelson Ndongala on Unsplash

  21. Petra Wille | @loomista

  22. Petra Wille | @loomista Uninspired Divided Stakeholders were not convinced

    to support the effort
  23. Petra Wille | @loomista

  24. Petra Wille | @loomista

  25. Petra Wille | @loomista Become better at product evangelizing &

    storytelling 2008-Marty to Petra:
  26. Petra Wille | @loomista Guy Kawasaki, Selling the Dream, Harper

    Business (1992)
  27. Petra Wille | @loomista Stories are a perfect design tool

    Everyone has the ability to create one, they’re easy to iterate on, and they help you gain more clarity.
  28. Petra Wille | @loomista The idea is to inspire your

    team, stakeholders and management, and users—not to convince them.
  29. Petra Wille | @loomista Creating and telling a Good Story

  30. Petra Wille | @loomista • It paints a picture of

    a desirable future • It makes it clear why you should become part of this future • It acknowledges the current situation while describing the potential difficulties that may arise and why it’s worth overcoming them • It suggests a common goal with just enough information to make next steps clear for listeners
  31. Petra Wille | @loomista

  32. Petra Wille | @loomista We are called to adventure by

    the promise of a new product #deathtostock
  33. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

    A good story will save you hours of meetings convincing people that the things you are doing are the right ones to do
  34. Petra Wille | @loomista

  35. Petra Wille | @loomista

  36. Petra Wille | @loomista It’s good for you It’s good

    for us It’s good for all
  37. Petra Wille | @loomista See their world Appreciate them as

    human beings Communicate understanding
  38. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

  39. Petra Wille | @loomista Create a sense of urgency and

    present information that enables action
  40. Petra Wille | @loomista Making Your Message Stick

  41. Petra Wille | @loomista The Tennis Court Oath in Versailles

    by Jacques-Louis David. Photograph: De Agostini/Getty
  42. Petra Wille | @loomista written spoken illustrated Your message, your

  43. Petra Wille | @loomista written spoken illustrated short medium long

    Your message, your story
  44. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Sung Jin Cho on

  45. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on

  46. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Melyna Valle on Unsplash

  47. Petra Wille | @loomista

  48. Petra Wille | @loomista Sketch Noting ftw

  49. Petra Wille | @loomista Getting ready to tell your story.

  50. Petra Wille | @loomista Be picky about the words you

    use! Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
  51. Petra Wille | @loomista Pete Souza | Credit: The White

    House Relevant Important True
  52. Petra Wille | @loomista Beware of Manipulation Photo by Agni

    B on Unsplash
  53. Petra Wille | @loomista #deathtostock

  54. Petra Wille | @loomista Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

  55. Petra Wille | @loomista

  56. Petra Wille | @loomista Recap How about your inner critic?

  57. Petra Wille | @loomista Humans automatically think in stories. When

    we hear good stories they trigger something in us. Stories help to facilitate group work by inspiring people to become part of a movement. Everyone can tell stories. It is worth investing in this skill. It takes a few simple ingredients and structures to get started.
  58. Petra Wille | @loomista • Think about the audience and

    what they want to achieve (What`s in for them?) • Use a proven storytelling structure to ensure nothing is missing (e.g., the hero, the journey, the destination) • Make sure there are a variety of ways to tell this one story: short, medium, and long, as well as written, spoken, and illustrated. • Make it your story. (able to tell the story without lengthy preparation ) Only a few Ingredients…
  59. Petra Wille | @loomista Links to these talks will be

    included in the final slide deck I will share online:
  60. Petra Wille | @loomista A perfect example of how powerful

    it is to use words that light up other people’s brains. Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter Do you think storytelling based on a lot of data is boring? Not if you are listening to Hans Rosling: nge_your_mindset Complex topic explained well: Al Gore: The Case for Optimism on Climate Change: A great speaker telling stories that matter to you Simon Sinek on why good leaders make you feel safe:
  61. Petra Wille | @loomista Matthew McConaughey winning Best Actor at

    the Oscars. Pay attention to the simple, powerful structure: Something to look up, something to look forward, something to chase: One of the best product demos ever: Steve Jobs iPhone 2007 Presentation: Not possible to not listen to him! We need to talk about an injustice: Bryan Stevenson: Nancy Duarte: The Secret Structure of Great Talks: e_of_great_talks?language=en
  62. Petra Wille | @loomista No professional storytelling skills The new

  63. Petra Wille | @loomista Thanks #strongproductpeople Twitter: @loomista Blog:
  64. Petra Wille | @loomista Further Reading How Stories Change the

    Brain: Strategic Storytelling Is Product Management: My product management toolkit: Storytelling: Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development: Storytelling for Product Managers: 72 Rules of Commercial Storytelling:
  65. Petra Wille | @loomista

  66. Petra Wille | @loomista

  67. Petra Wille | @loomista Further Reading for Product Leads Petra

    Wille | @loomista
  68. Petra Wille | @loomista Petra Wille | @loomista |