New Amazon Web Providers Chief Excels At Storytelling

The CEO of Amazon’s large cloud-computing division (AWS) always attracts a large amount of interest at the company’s once-a-year meeting for consumers and companions. 

This year the highlight was extremely vivid on main government Adam Selipsky who replaced Andy Jassy as only the second CEO at AWS. Jassy took around the job of Amazon CEO when Jeff Bezos stepped down in July. 

Although the tech push concentrated on the “avalanche” of new providers, characteristics, and partners that Selipsky uncovered at re:Invent 2021, I was riveted by Selipsky’s skill as a storyteller.

Even though I wasn’t associated in Selipsky’s keynote, I have met with senior executives at AWS to share greatest practices in storytelling. Selipsky’s presentation reflects a creative collaboration concerning him and the company’s communication and layout industry experts.

Now that the total keynote is readily available on YouTube, I can determine numerous great storytelling and style tactics that any one can use to elevate the good quality of their displays. 

1). Select stories to assistance a topic. 

The tales you opt for to share really should support a person theme, or vital concept. For case in point, Selipsky devoted the keynote to “pathfinders,” individuals who problem the standing quo. Selipsky stated that pathfinders share three attributes: they continuously glance for a far better way, see points that other folks never, and permit other folks to forge their own paths. 

Selipsky then shared a few tales of pathfinders to assistance each and every attribute. 

The initial tale was about Hank Luisetti a Stanford faculty basketball participant considered an innovator of the video game. Basketball in the 1930s wasn’t as dynamic or high-scoring as it is right now: Players would stop, plant their toes, and toss two-handed. Luisetti produced the managing one particular-handed shot, an early edition of today’s soar shot. 

“Hank Luisetti was a pathfinder who was frequently in research of a much better way,” reported Selipsky. “He refused to accept the position quo.”

The 2nd story was about Florence Nightingale, the British nurse who brought on healthcare facility reforms that keep on being with us to this day. When war broke out, Florence enlisted to serve in a armed service hospital and was shocked to obtain 1000’s of troopers who were being dying—not of battle wounds, but of unsanitary circumstances. Florence was a “data geek” who compiled statistics to persuade the British governing administration and the army to consider action.

“She took the info and charted it all visually in a diagram very similar to the pie charts we use currently,” Selipsky spelled out. “It confirmed that ten times the variety of soldiers in the clinic have been dying from disease than ended up dying from their wounds.”

Soon after Nightingale’s presentation, the military services approved new hygiene expectations and sent additional supplies. As a result, in 6 months, the mortality charge between troopers had dropped 90%. According to Selipsky, “Florence was a pathfinder who observed what others did not.” She was using facts and statistics to preserve life.”

The 3rd story was about Roscoe Brown, one of the Earth War II pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Brown flew above 68 overcome missions, but racial discrimination finished his piloting job following the war. That’s when he established out to forge a new path that influenced subsequent generations of black gentlemen and ladies. Brown turned a college professor and led an inspiring existence of visionary support. “He was giving other folks who came right after him the equipment they would need to have to forge their have path and produce opportunities to turn into pathfinders in their possess correct,” claimed Selipsky.

One closing observe about selecting tales: Make sure the tales make sense in mild of the company’s broader narrative. For Selipsky, that meant connecting the stories to the work that AWS is undertaking on behalf of its one particular million clients, constantly tough the position quo and “forging a better route ahead.”   

2). Offer vivid aspects. 

A good story consists of a couple of vivid facts that carry the story to lifestyle. For case in point, here’s how Selipsky explained the conditions that Florence Nightingale discovered when she arrived at the armed forces medical center:

“Two thousand sick and injured adult men lay in corridors. Cholera, gangrene, lice, and fleas ended up rampant. Soldiers would clean as soon as each 80 times. It was a cesspool. Extra troopers were being dying in the healthcare facility than on the battlefield. Conditions had been so awful that nightingale dubbed it, The Kingdom of Hell.”

Selipsky offered a several particulars in the other tales, too. For illustration, in a person of Rosco Brown’s 68 battle missions, he turned the initially pilot to shoot down 1 of Germany’s new point out-of-the-art fighter jets. Meanwhile Hank Lucietti utilised his innovative running bounce shot to become the very first collegiate participant to rating 50 points in a activity on January 1, 1938. 

Provide just ample detail to generate a photo in the mind’s eye. And speaking of pictures…

3). Use pictures to support the tale. 

Never muddle your presentation slides with text, words and phrases, and bullet points considering the fact that your viewers can’t read and hear attentively to your tale at the very same time. Use pics to complement the tale.

Selipsky’s presentation had a great deal of highly technical slides and charts when he was chatting about cloud technology, but he confirmed images—and only images— when sharing pathfinder stories: black and white photos of Hank Luisetti actively playing basketball in the 1930s sketches and diagrams that Florence Nightingale used to persuade British authorities coloration pics of Roscoe Brown from his lifetime and award ceremonies.

We have been telling stories as a species for tens of 1000’s of decades. When the equipment have altered (we use PowerPoint rather of painting on cave partitions), our craving for stories is as powerful as at any time. The upcoming time you generate a presentation, pick stories that strengthen your essential concept. You’ll encourage you viewers and move them to action.