STORIES ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS
After I presented a 2004 workshop at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, senior officials challenged me to prove that stories were a better way to communicate critical information to the public and to key decision makers. As a former research scientist, author, and master storyteller for almost 30 years, I welcomed the challenge to prove what I already knew to be true.
I interwove research from 16 different fields of science, and uncovered the first-ever scientific proof that story structure is evolutionarily hardwired into human brains. Evolutionary biologists proposed it, and developmental psychologists confirmed it: from birth human brains automatically make sense, understand, and remember through stories. Story structure is how we humans think!
My research has identified the Eight Essential Elements that define effective story structure. As presented in my book, STORY PROOF: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story that story structure is the single most effective and powerful delivery system to successfully plant your message into the mind and memory of your target audiences.
But “story” does not refer to the content, itself. Story is the structure, the framework onto which you hang the content you want to deliver, the way in which you organize, develop and present that key information. Master the structure of effective stories and you master the power of effective communication.
I bring science to the world of story and story-science to the art of effective communications. I have cracked the story code that lies within human brains and that has unleashed a revolution in communications understanding that can guide your organization to successfully discover and develop the stories that widen and deepen the impact of your key messages.
The programs I provide for organizational clients include presentations, workshops, courses, and consulting services both for organizations as a whole and for key individuals within the organization. All organizational programs are customized to meet your specific needs, but center on three areas of story structural development:
• Story Secrets: Workshops, Mentorships, and Presentations to develop the skill and ability of your staff to develop and deliver effective story-based communications.
• Story Sleuthing: Consulting efforts to define, uncover, and develop your organizations essential stories that will powerfully and effectively convey your core messages.
• Story Strategy: Consulting programs to develop a corporate climate and culture of storytelling and the organizational structures to develop long-term organizational mastery of the effective use and potential of stories.
"Want to teach them science? Tell them a good story! Fraught with mystery, struggle, inspiration, and sometimes great risk -- what better than storytelling can convey this most essential of human enterprises?Thank you, Kendall, for sharing the secrets of story with my team and me. It has helped us to do a much better job of letting our readers in on the fun of working at NASA."
-David Herring, NASA Earth Observatory Team Leader
"You ask Kendall Haven why certain ideas grab hold. Kendall responds, 'Because they were placed in story construct and story structure is hard-wired into the human brain through evolution, imbedded in your neural net.' That is classic Kendall Haven! He then takes it a step further by showing you how to frame your ideas along story-telling lines, using a story-telling structure. This puts you on a very creative track, such that you present your idea in the most powerful way. I have just told you a true story to showcase the high quality of Kendall’s work and its value for his clients. Consistently, over several years, Kendall’s exceptional engagement has enabled our Group to present its ideas in the most effective manner possible!"
-James R. Hogg, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired), Director, Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group
"The quality of Kendall Haven’s work and his product throughout were simply fantastic and exceeded expectations. Kendall immersed himself in the subject matter and applied his experience. This process yielded excellent results, and drew the community of interest into the process and effort from start to finish. Kendall was able to scope an effort and use interview techniques and analyses that brought the key points to the surface quickly and with major emphasis and impact. Kendall’s insight and recommendations are “futuristic” for this organization."
-Steve Koepenick, Conference Chair, Unmanned Systems Interoperability Conference III, Sponsored by International AUVIS
“I count on Kendall Haven to deliver consistent excellence in all of his programs. My experience is that he never disappoints. Each of his programs has thrilled our attendees and has received top ratings. His research work has been comprehensive, profound in its importance, and easy for all to grasp and understand, and has jumped our organization far ahead of where it otherwise would be.”
- Jimmy Neil Smith, Founder and Executive Director, International Storytelling Center
"Kendall Haven was the keynote speaker and presented workshops the first day of our National Park Service Education and Interpretation Conference “Family of Voices: Telling the Untold Stories.” He was an excellent choice! With his science background and master storytelling skills, he created positive energy that permeated the entire conference and gave credence to all the workshops that followed. One NPS interpreter gave credit to Haven’s 8 Elements of Story being just what he needed to help him complete a program that he had been struggling with for so long. As coordinator of the conference, my thanks are inadequate to the contribution that Kendall made in creating a successful experience for all."
-Marie Malo, Education Technician, Amistad National Recreation Area, Del Rio, TX