The New 2019 Definition of Content

Content as a word, a concept, a product … is something we are all familiar with. And today, every company is in the content business. Stacks of content that is being used to communicate something: internally to colleagues, externally to customers, clients, partners and investors. Content fatigue has set in, however (a problem I see […]

Finding order in your scenes: Just wait

Eudora Welty, American writer best known for her 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Optimist’s Daughter, was a woman of huge intellect and daring. (Her application letter to the New Yorker in 1933 is worth a Google search – as a sample, this is how it starts: Gentlemen, I suppose you’d be more interested in […]

The storytelling power of props

“Show don’t tell” is one of the most important phrases in storytelling. A phrase my clients hear me passionately repeat. And for good reason. It’s easy to “tell people” what you are capable of, it’s quite another to show them you actually can. In the showing is action. Quoting Socrates, “Say what the story demands…the […]

Story scenes in 2017. Set your scene

The most obvious statement now is: we live in a storytelling world.  How can companies be better equipped to participate in this world – regardless of our business or our products?  My answer is: think much more clearly and strategically about the story scenes you create. Humans understand scenes. We live them every day. We […]

Prey Lang: the brand project. A brief personal statement and case study

Prey Lang: Cambodia National Forest A story-focused branding and strategic communications initiative Conceived and directed by Bjorn Turmann,  Founding Director, SpeakingEnergy Ltd. (with project funding from USAID Cambodia)   Covering over 3,600 square kilometres that stretch across four northern Cambodian provinces, Prey Lang is one of the world’s Top 10 most important biodiversity hotspots. ** […]

“We live with our experiments”

The title of this story comes from a quote attributed to the iconic architect, Zaha Hadid who died suddenly this month at the age of 65. Ms. Hadid was known for “building the unbuildable.” Her structures can be seen in some of the world’s most prominent locations – and for very good reason. When clients […]

You against the world?

“Do we need to worry about you?” CIA officer “Hoffman” (Scott Shepherd) asks Tom Hanks’ lawyer character, “Donovan,” thirty minutes into Bridge of Spies. “Not if I’m left alone to do my job.” Thematically we immediately get where this story is going. We feel it. Donovan against the world. A man who wants to do […]

Don’t get emotional! Too late, we already are

Fact: we decide based on how we feel. Like it or not, we are just emotional, feeling humans who feel a little (or a lot) different today than yesterday. There are over 7 billion of us, so that’s a lot of individual feelings we have to contend with. How do we work with feelings? Emotions […]

Let’s Agree to Agree

So why do we choose to agree with people—accept them and their story? A question I spend a lot of time thinking about in my work with global clients. Last week I came across a fascinating online piece in Politico Magazine written by Matthew MacWilliams ( that said the “single statistically significant variable” that predicts […]