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Kendall Haven’s research, consulting work, and two seminal books have revolutionized our understanding of stories—of the science of story, of the neurology of story, and of the relationship between the human brain and story.

STORY PROOF (the evidence—2007) and STORY SMART (the experiments and application—2014) are essential resources for every person—in any field— who needs to persuade, inspire, influence, inform, or teach!

“The purpose of every communication is to exert influence (to persuade, to inspire, to change attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and behavior). We can now measure that impact by looking directly at the human brain of the Target Audience.”

Story consultant Kendall Haven is an internationally recognized expert on the structure and use of story. As a narrative influence architect, Haven guides companies, organizations, and agencies to discover the power and impact possible in their internal and external communications.

Haven’s research discoveries make corporate narrative and influence control possible. These include: the Eight Essential Elements that form the foundation of successful stories, the human Neural Story Net, the Make Sense Mandate, the importance of Motive Matching, key Influence Triggers, and the first and only explicit and quantitative Story Influence Model that explains how to use story elements to extend and exert persuasive influence.

Haven’s acclaimed book, STORY PROOF: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story presents the first-ever proof that “story structure” is an information delivery system powerhouse, evolutionarily hardwired into human brains. His follow-on, STORY SMART: Using the Science of Story to persuade, Inspire, Influence and Teach, (2014) lays out the latest neural and cognitive research on story engagement, story power, story influence, and the process for merging your themes and messages into effective, powerful story architecture.

"Your brain has been evolutionarily hardwired to think, to understand, to make sense, and to remember in specific story terms and elements."

For 150,000 years, humans have relied on story structure to communicate and to archive (in human memory) key history, knowledge, facts, beliefs, concepts, and attitudes. Evidence Haven gathered from 16 fields of scientific research (from neural and evolutionary biology, to developmental psychology, to knowledge and information management theory, and, of course, to storytelling and writing) has shown that this historical reliance on story has evolutionarily rewired human brains so that we are born hardwired to automatically think, understand, make sense, and remember through stories. specific story structure is literally woven into your DNA!

Haven’s work in the emerging field of neural story science has created a set of powerful, practical, and tested tools that provide the key to effective engagement, empathy, influence and communication. His workshops and consulting sessions arm leaders with the knowledge and ability to successfully master the art of consistently effective communication.

“The first storyteller to merge the power of story and neural science with the wisdom of decades of story performance.”

A senior research scientist turned award-winning author, speaker, master storyteller, and nationally recognized subject expert on the structure and use of story, Haven has authored 34 books and has performed for world-wide audiences of over 6 million. The first researcher to ever conduct controlled, in-lab EEG experimental tests of story structures, Haven now assists agencies, organizations, companies, and schools to master the use and power of story (and of the specific elements that build the structure of effective stories) as they discover, form, and craft stories that have allure and impact, and that stick with listeners for years.

It's not what you SAY that matters. It's what they HEAR that matters.

Every organization has critically important stories they need to tell to internal and external audiences—stories about values, attitudes, a future vision, purpose, history, people, services, brands, or about the organization, itself. 


Key Question: 

Do your stories create the excitement, support, and buy-in—the impact and response— that you need?


What you tell to your key audiences is often significantly different from what they actually "hear" and perceive. Yet that version of your messaging that each person forms in their own mind is the only version of your message that can exert any impact or influence. It is that audience self-created version of your messaging that you must rely on to deliver all of your key points.


Enter advanced neural story science. The real key questions are:

• How can you control how your audiences make sense of (understand) your messaging?
• Can you then also control how they create meaning from it?


Haven's neural story analytics gives you the first explicit, research-based set of tools, elements, and guides to consistently construct more effective narratives. Haven's most recent wok provides the quantitative metrics—the Story KPI's (Key Performance Indicators)—to "pressure test" your messaging and create a StoryScore that gives you a set of quantitative measures of the effectiveness of each key aspect of your messaging and also specific guides for increasing the power, engagement potential, impact, influence, and buy-in of your stories.


If you don't provide the essential story elements of your story for your target audience, research shows that they will invent (infer) those core story elements on their own—and they'll almost always get it wrong. At that moment, you lose control of your own communication.

As basic as story and storytelling are to human brains, story development turns out not to be so easy to do when it's your story. Haven works with each organization to leverage their existing strengths and story material and amplify and project those core messages by effectively merging them with the elements of story architecture.


• Mekong Capital—Private Equity Investment Company, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

• AposHealth—Medical Device Manufacturer, New York City, NY

• U.S. Department of State—Foreign Service
• Johns Hopkins Physics Lab
• Cigna Insurance
• Boeing Corp.—DARPA 2012 Narrative Networks Research Project
• Atmos Corp. XR Platform Development Company
• ARAMCO (Saudi Oil Corp.)
• Lawrence Livermore Laboratory
• World Bank
• NASA Earth Science Division
• U.S. Navy
• Stanford University MediaX Program
• ROC (Management Communications Company)
• University of Missouri School of Medicine
• National Park Service
• Singapore Military Training Command
• GORE Medical Products Division
• The Center for Genetics and Society
• Tufts University School of Medicine
• Jet Propulsion Laboratory
• San Francisco Presidio Trust and Conservancy
• Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, International
• Northrop Grumman Corp., Space Science Division
• Storm Center Communications
• Intific Corp.
• International Festivals & Events Assn.
• International Storytelling Center