Interview with Robbie Crabtree on Competitive Storytelling

Importance of Different Perspectives in Storytelling

  • Exploring the value of telling stories from various perspectives, such as the victim’s or defendant’s, to evoke empathy and understanding. 

The Courtroom as a Game of Competitive Storytelling

  • In the courtroom, storytelling becomes a competition where the jury decides the outcome based on which story they find more compelling. 
  • Using the jury trial experience, Robbie helps others become master storytellers, offering insights and techniques applicable in business and leadership contexts.

Creating a Frame for Startup Pitching

  • The significance of creating a frame in startup pitching: “What if I’m right?”
    • This frame encourages investors to consider the possibility of the presented future reality. 
    • Moreover, establishes credibility, authority, and the investment opportunity’s size within the frame.

Transferring Emotion through Storytelling

  • It is essential to transfer emotions from the storyteller to the audience. 
  • The key skill of a storyteller lies in reliving the story being told, not merely creating emotions externally. 
  • Becoming a world-class storyteller involves developing both content delivery and emotional impact.

The Power of Storytelling in Influencing and Persuading

  • Being right and presenting logical arguments alone are not sufficient; storytelling connects with the audience emotionally and influences decision-making.

Character Development and Persuasion

  •  Stay away from rigid, fact-based approaches to storytelling
  •  Focus on character development to create a transformative narrative. Ethos, logos, and pathos play a crucial role in persuasion, even in a jury trial.

The Vision Story and Creating Inevitability

  • The vision story and creating a sense of inevitability in it is vital in story-telling. 
  • Visualizing and connecting the future vision to the past with analogies and bridges help others understand and believe in the vision. 
  • Tying the vision to something tangible and relatable creates conviction and inspires involvement.

Crafting Origin Stories for Founders

  • Including elements that investors look for, such as prior success, exceptional skills or achievements, and evidence of drive and ambition.

The Science and Art of Storytelling

  • Storytelling is both a science and an art, requiring flexibility and creativity to create a compelling narrative. 
  • It goes beyond templates like the hero’s journey; connecting with the audience on a meaningful level is crucial. 
  • Founders can refine their narrative by answering open-ended questions like “How did you get here?”, “Why do you care?” and “What makes you special?”

Interesting Facts about Robbie:

  • Favorite Movie: Gladiator
  • Favorite author: Steven Pressfield.
  • Favorite book: Dune.
  • Favorite Art/Artist: Wing Victory in the Louvre, but most influential is Michelangelo and his approach to the David sculpture.
  • Favorite musician/band: Eminem for his mastery of words and rap.
  • Favorite philosopher: Aristotle, with a mention of Anthony Bourdain and Mike Tyson.
  • Favorite TV series: West Wing.
  • Desired superpower: Reading minds for a better understanding of situations.
  • Time travel preference: Going to the past, specifically when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.
  • Preferred place to live: Florence, due to its beauty and historical significance.
  • Alternative dream job: Professional surfer, though being a professional athlete was a childhood dream.
  • One piece of advice for the world

“The world runs on the best stories, so it might as well be yours.”

*** Robbie’s new book won’t come out until later in the year. When it becomes available we’ll announce it on all social media channels****



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