How to Tell a Better Story with Eduardo Placer

Public speaking coach and story doula Eduardo Placer says that storytelling is highly misunderstood today.
How to Tell a Better Story with Eduardo Placer
Published June 21, 2022

Eduardo Placer is in service to helping people tell their stories and live their truth in the world; and yet, he says, many of us confuse event-sharing with storytelling.

A story doula, professional public speaking coach, and former professional performer, Eduardo is the founder of Fearless Communicators, a public speaking company that helps storytellers push past their fear of public speaking by embracing the courage of public sharing to make the greatest positive impact in their community.

In our interview, Eduardo shares his personal and professional experiences as a storyteller, including…

  • The heartbreaking but honest reason why Eduardo learned to “perform” or pretend that he was someone he wasn’t, as a young person
  • Understanding what brings most public speaking clients into his workshops: is it their fear, their healing, their ego, or something else?
  • Why Eduardo says we ALWAYS need more, and new, stories (hint: it’s because humans are not good at learning lessons from the past)

Eduardo has led workshops and spoken at places like HBO, Google, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Yale, The Juilliard School, the Wharton School of Business, the Muslim-Jewish Conference, and beyond.

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Episode Transcript

We believe in providing full episode transcripts for increased accessibility, especially for those who may be hard of hearing or for whom English is a second language. Please note that transcripts are not fully edited and may contain errors. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Dave Ursillo  00:14

Hello and welcome to The New Story Is my name is Dave Ursillo. I am the founder of The New Story Company and the host of this podcast. 

Dave Ursillo  00:21

On today’s episode, do you ever feel called to use your voice but feel intimidated about how or in what ways or what to say? Do you question sometimes if you’re actually telling a story, or if you’re more documenting events that are happening in real time, what is the story anyway? And how do we share it for our next guest things like these topics storytelling, even public speaking and having trouble with articulating or sharing your story out loud, are ripe topics for conversation. 

Dave Ursillo  00:52

My guest today is Eduardo Placer. He’s a public speaking coach and international community builder and a story doula whose work includes issues related to inclusive masculinity, LGBTQ IA activism and advocacy, access to education and much more. Eduardo is the founder of fearless communicators, a public speaking coaching business that empowers leaders and changemakers to push past their fear of public speaking by embracing the courage of public sharing to make the greatest positive impact in their community. 

Dave Ursillo  01:24

He was a professional actor for 15 years, and today he serves on the boards of two organizations including the out Foundation, which is a 501 C three nonprofit that works to remove barriers that block LGBTQ plus individuals access and participation in fitness and health and wellness. He also serves on the board of the Cuban American Alliance for leadership and education or Callay, a tri state area nonprofits centered on supporting education within the Cuban American community. He leads workshops and has spoken at places like HBO, Google, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Yale, the Juilliard School, the Wharton School of Business, the Muslim Jewish conference, and beyond. 

Dave Ursillo  02:05

But at the end of the day, he describes himself as a bilingual theatre loving politically active global citizen and do gooder. I’m very excited to introduce you to him today. Eduardo, welcome to The New Story Is and thank you so much for being here. 

Eduardo Placer  02:20

What a delicious introduction, Dave, thank you so much for that! received.

Dave Ursillo  02:26

Oh, you’re so you’re so welcome. I am so excited to dig into all these things. We mentioned at the top of your introduction about storytelling, how to know what the differences between a story and and, you know, events, documenting out loud, but first, I wanted to on a somewhat serious note, I know that you’re afflicted by a little known condition called Showtuneitis that causes you to spontaneously break out into song from time to time. Before we get into the real meat and potatoes of our conversation. Just want to see how is your condition these days? How are you faring with your showttonight?

Eduardo Placer  03:02

You know, I you know, growing up as a child in Miami, Florida show tinnitus was very difficult to live with. Because I don’t think it was something that was celebrated or understood by the people around me, specifically my family, I think they wish I had more like beetle itis, or, you know, rock and roll itis not showtunes, because that’s what came out of my mouth. And I think it was lost to my Cuban immigrant parents. But now I just surrender. So I I leaned into the flare up. So when the flare up happens, you know, then I just let it out. I let it rip. And I just let people know in advance that it’s coming, it’s happening. And then I lean into it, and then we move on. 

Eduardo Placer  03:49

The crazy thing is, I know a lot of like, first lines to show tunes. And that’s it, I there’s there, you know, I’m lost past kind of the first line the first qn and then then the rest of it is kind of a bit of a blur. But, you know, in the musical theater, there’s always like the cue line. So what happens is inevitably I’m having a conversation with someone and they say something and it feels like the great bleed into a song. You know, so it’s like, it’s like a great little volley. So that’s what I can’t contain. I can’t contain and that’s the cue and now cue song that price my brain does not have Yeah, so

Dave Ursillo  04:33

it’s so funny to me how like some people have like the musical mindset where and of course we’re being playful about like show tonight as being an affliction although you do mention without much of a hint of humor, right, Eduardo about how like, you know your selfhood, your love of music and showtunes coming out in a culture that maybe didn’t instinctively understand it or even support it or a culture around you that was intimidated or uncomfortable by it, which are very serious topics and stuff that we’ll we’ll get into perhaps in the course of our conversation today about your upbringing and your experience in music and acting as well as talking about story. 

Dave Ursillo  05:12

But it’s always remarkable to me how the, the instincts that we that we carry kind of become. We experienced them almost as if chapters throughout the book of our life, right, or there’s these different instances. And then they become a part of, you know, everyday conversations that you have with people when when the showtune is summoned from deep within you.

Eduardo Placer  05:36

You know, I have an identical twin brother who straight and when we used to play with our GI Joes, my brother played war, and I played war, the musical my little GI Joe sang and they danced, and they had monologues. And what’s interesting is that I do have an ability to laugh at stuff that is painful. 

Eduardo Placer  06:07

Right, and I think that there is pain that’s been painful for me. I’m not laughing at other people’s pain, but I’m laughing at my own, which is maybe why there’s a little bit of permission. You know, and and it’s interesting, because we’re, you know, I don’t know if we can talk about time, but we are in June, June, June is busting out all over all over that Heather and the mill, a little short term from carousel. And the the thing that’s interesting, so June is pride month in the United States. And you know, I’ve done a lot of reflection around pride, and why is pride important. And I think that the reason why pride is important is because it’s sourced from deep shame is the antidote. 

Eduardo Placer  06:50

And it is the medicine, to having grown up in a belief that there was something fundamentally wrong and shameful about my very experience. Right. So what’s interesting about show tinnitus, and what’s interesting about the bursting out into the show, too, and and gifting myself and granting myself permission to lean into that is that it is an explosion of joy. Right? And that joy is an antidote to the shame. And what’s interesting is that, I find that when I lean into it, and share of that, in my own storytelling and my own speaking, I think that it is it, because I’m also singing and it’s also music, it kind of cuts through the noise of the brain and it goes straight to the heart. And I think peep a creates an opening, that immediately creates a bond and a connection with an audience. And I tell the show tinnitus joke everywhere in the world, like the show tonight is is not spared an audience like everybody gets it. And I think for someone in an audience to be witness to that, it is completely disarming, it is joyful. And I’m laughing with myself and with all of us together, you know, as I reveal a truth about myself, which is also me creating a space of safety with my audience, so that they know Yes, I do have the show to an affliction. And I’m a raging homosexual. So that’s also a piece of the puzzle not that and you can have show tinnitus and be heterosexual you can be show tonight and be non binary non conforming, you can have show tinnitus and be a cisgender heterosexual like it is it is inclusive of all expression. But that is it just creates that space of seeing and liberation and play.

Dave Ursillo  08:58

I think I’ve never really considered joy to be the antidote or the quote unquote, like like the promise side to the shadow of that is shame, right if we talk about two sides of the same coin, and you know what, what came to mind for me, I was thinking of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and that framework, in which it also and also, you know, the Hindu South Asian chakra system, which would kind of equate or put on the same level shame as an inner internal source of internal wounding, that represents not having done wrong like guilt but being wrong, like your existence is somehow flawed or wrong. 

Dave Ursillo  09:49

And the from what I what I can recall from psychology and even from this the spiritual texts that I’ve read about the chakra system it’s like selfhood. Self knowledge, self confidence and sometimes even self love. But it’s like self dash that are that are typically associated with, like, here’s the healing, For shame, it’s like to know yourself really well. And I think we can attach joy to that, but I never really personally considered, like leading with joy as the correction to unfairly you know, undeserving shame about who you are as a person. 

Dave Ursillo  10:27

And it feels more powerful than to me as I’m hearing you express it, it feels more powerful in like more corrective and more progressive, like more for it moves more forward or together than just, you know, saying, like, know yourself, and know yourself, you’ve been dealt a shame hand, if that makes sense. And, you know, what’s

Eduardo Placer  10:48

interesting is, I have found that, and the way, you know, I, you know, and thank you for the permission, you know, and the space to be speaking, you know, as we are in Pride Month, you know, and me speaking about my own relationship with shame, and my own internalized homophobia in relationship to my homosexuality. And my gayness that, I feel like, I was so hyper corrected. In every natural expression, the quality of my voice, the pitch of my voice, the gestures that I use, the things that I liked, the things that excited me, like, I felt like I had to perform, who I think other people wanted me to be. 

Eduardo Placer  11:44

And I think that that’s I’m not, I don’t think that that’s the only experience that is only true for queer people. I believe that most of us live in some trap of I was taught, or I was led to believe that by performing someone other than who I am, I could be successful, or I could achieve, or I could be better. Or I wouldn’t, I didn’t have to tell the truth. Like, I know what he really wanted to know the truth, everybody wanted me to sound like or look like or be someone other than who I am. I feel that that’s where we get this this fear and shame around public speaking, which is something that I am in the in the work have, right. And that the the opportunity because it is work, because the the fear and the shame is always present. It’s not like it’s gone, you know, there is a, there’s a traumatized second grader inside of me. That is, that is trying to not relive that trauma ever again, that 45 year old Eduardo has to be like, You know what, you’re fine. You’re okay. I am going to bring my light anyway. And what’s so interesting is that, again, I have been in places in the world where, where I have had to question like, is my light too bright? Here? Do I lean into the full expression of who I am? Or do I have to edit or code switch and stuff like that? And, and there are places in the world where it is dangerous to be a gay man, you know, that is very clear. It is not, and that that happens in the United States. And that also happens in other places in the world. We’re not immune to that in United States, although sometimes we think that we are. 

Eduardo Placer  13:31

And I feel very blessed and very lucky that, that in the leaning into it. It always pays off. And I think what people connect to, is that universal desire for freedom. Right, that universal desire of liberation, that universal desire of being expressed, that that I think many people suffer with. Can I do i should i will i, that, that I think that my end show tonight is is a sliver of it gives people permission to harness and share their joy. And I think that that is that you know, and to bring it back to story and storytelling, I think that’s ultimately we want everything we did tell his joyful, but there is something powerful about speaking the truth. And I think that that’s, that’s the medicine that I’m after. And that’s the medicine that I’ve just been, I’ve been in the lifelong search for the expression of my own, that I now get to be a conduit for other people. Harnessing that for themselves so that they understand the truth that is of greatest service for them to share right now.

Dave Ursillo  15:01

It’s really remarkable to hear you describe the experience of feeling obligated, from a young age based on the feedback you’re receiving from people around you, that you were kind of instinctively almost like in an adaptive way, right, like a survival mechanism and into being a social creature, kind of like trying to find your way in the world, through the people around you, as we all do in our own ways, but you mentioned the Self Editing, the code switching the performative nature of trying to fit in or maybe minimize your your nature, not only your, your sexuality, as you mentioned, as a gay man, but like your your your nature as like being outspoken and being wanting to be joyful and, and playful. 

Dave Ursillo  15:48

And first, just how, how much it hurts me, you know, as an as an empath to imagine that that young version of you that second grade, second grader in you that persists to this day, but also imagining that second grader, navigating that world and figuring out how to exist in a way that is both ensures your survival and your safety, which everybody deserves fundamentally, at the just at the, at the essence of their existing, the very least, is that fundamental right? To feel safe at all times. And then not only the physical safety that one deserves, especially as we are in Pride Month talking about the LGBTQIA plus experience. But also, there’s that secondary, emotional, mental, psycho spiritual aspect of survival, which is not only to be physically safe and in, allowed to live, but then to express the full truth of who somebody knows themselves to be in the world. 

Dave Ursillo  17:05

And that in talking about public speaking, which you which you do as a coach, I’m wondering how much Eduardo as we start to maybe talk a little bit about the the the art and the nature of storytelling and, and putting stories forth in the world and living your story out loud. When you’re working with your clients. I’m wondering about how much not to maybe like, quantify, or try to quantify it on. But I’m wondering about how much of what brings somebody into the room with you to learn how to speak more fearlessly is driven by that younger version of themselves. And maybe maybe the wounds maybe the wounds or the shame that they are they are driven to learn to master the pain and express it in the world versus how I think I imagine a lot of our listeners may say like, well, public speaking is what you do when you’re, when you’re a motivational speaker, when you just wrote a book and you want to sell the book, you know, the more like commercial aspects of like speaking and being on TEDx, that equate with like career success. I’m curious about how you’ve seen people come into the room and

Eduardo Placer  18:20

light shade. I love the slight shade of the the career success. Because you know, it’s interesting. There’s several things that I want to say about that the first

Eduardo Placer  18:36

I believe that there is speaking from ego. So it is what I call Speaker focused speaking, which I’m not really interested in. And then there’s audience focus speaking, which is the speaker is a channel for some type of message or truth to be shared in the moment that is of service to the people who are listening. That to me feels in greater alignment, because I have very little patience or tolerance for people just taking up space to take up space. You know, because it’s all about them. It is feeding their ego, it’s feeling their their need to be seen their need to be validated. That is less interesting to me. There’s an Aboriginal saying, which we center in our work, which is the story is hunting the storyteller. I think you’re gonna love I think you’d love that one day. Sometimes when I share that there’s like an alchemical shift, and people are like, Oh, whoops. And what I think is really interesting about that is that I don’t believe that there’s anything new right as far as story is concerned, I feel like the themes of human experience jealousy, shame, love, heartbreak, victory defeat. 

Eduardo Placer  20:16

These, these are the lessons that we continue to learn as human beings. I think our stories are repeating lessons, they are parables that are repeating things for us to learn to make sense of the time that we have. From when we are born till we die. The story is a tool. And however, the specificity of your DNA, your fingerprint, your lived experience, is another prism to highlight a truth that bares being repeated. So I think that that’s, that’s the joy. That’s the interesting piece of it that, that yes, only you will live your life only you will live your experience, and only you will experience these themes. And through the intricacy and specificity of like your reactions and the decisions that you’ve made, or things that have happened to you and how you reacted to those events that have happened. That story now sounds looks feels different. And yet the lesson is the same. It is a lesson that we continue to learn. I don’t think that we as human beings are good at learning lessons, which is why we need new and more stories. Right? I think that that’s just part of the human experience. And, and what’s interesting is that I think that people come thinking oftentimes, that there’s a story that they want to tell. And then inevitably, the story that needs to be revealed, emerges. And sometimes it’s not the story that you think. And that’s why in part of our work, and part of our work at Fearless communicators, the term that we use as being stories with us. And, and I think what we do is we craft and create a container that allows the story that wants to be revealed to emerge. And sometimes that means that other stories have to kind of clear. So sometimes in our work, what we have are clearing stories that someone gets a story out, and they’re like, Wait, I’ve been holding on to that story for 10, 15 20 years. 

Eduardo Placer  22:39

And now that I’ve actually said it now that I’ve actually crafted it now that I’ve actually made sense of it. Now, I’m actually present to the new thing that wants to emerge, because we’re still sometimes stuck, or holding on to stories of the past. So much so that we can actually be present to the stories that are actually emerging in the moment. So So yeah, so I think that what is that the impetus? Ultimately, what I’m always interested in is the truth. And, and I think that to go back to the story that we were telling you, the reason why I’m so interested in the truth is because from probably the age of five, or six or seven, who I was was a liar.

Eduardo Placer  23:36

Right. So from the moment that I woke up to the moment that I went to sleep, I had to perform, or convince everyone around me that I wasn’t who I was, that the desires that I had the things that I liked, the people that I had crushes on, like none of that. The truth was something that the people nearest to me, couldn’t be with. So I had to lie. And I think part of my journey coming out of 18 being an actor where you’re paid to lie, you’re paid to convince other people that you are a character and all that other stuff. 

Eduardo Placer  24:15

Finally, one of the things that exhausted me about being an actor was like I was sick and tired of performing somebody else. I was like, I’m done with that. I’ve spent my entire life donning and putting on a drag or a costume or a character of who I thought everyone else needed me to be. And pardon the expression who fucking over it. And I’m ready to embody and be the truth as I know it in this moment for myself in my lived experience. 

Dave Ursillo  28:09

Definitely, I was gonna, I was gonna say that you mentioned the, the like, I think you call it like trauma Olympics. I had I had a client, a writing client, who was working with as a writing coach from the Philippines years ago who said he was exhausted because he felt like every time he logged onto Facebook, he felt like in order to be a writer, he had to compete in what he called the vulnerability Olympics. Like there were no stories if they were not like airing out a wound or trauma. 

Dave Ursillo  28:38

And we can understand that there’s a draw into a healing process by through self expression. And that social media is literally right there. And like the keyboards right in front of us, the phone is in our hands at all times. But I appreciate you putting some qualifiers around what we share. It doesn’t have to be the most extreme it doesn’t have to be. And that’s an ironic part about the culture in which we’re living, isn’t it Eduardo in that not only do Silicon Valley algorithms from the social media platforms seem to very sneakily reward extreme opinions, extreme behaviors, the most, you know, emotionally charged, like news stories, fake news stories, but but also the nature of the culture today is like extremity drives or captures attention. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on storytellers these days, as you mentioned, to feel like they must summon the worst thing that’s happened to them or put put their life experience in terms that are necessarily like traumatic in order to feel worthy of being heard. 

Dave Ursillo  29:45

When like, you know, not to discount the trauma severe or quote unquote insignificant right which which all trauma is trauma that people are my listeners, our listeners, have exposed You’re asked, but you it’s not requisite for being a storyteller, especially if you reframe the lens of the story pursuing you, which I think is a really fascinating way to almost take some of the pressure off of yourself as the storyteller. If you’re, if there’s a relationship to the story that wants to be told, as opposed to you having to maybe summon the, the summon something and tell a story that you maybe are not even comfortable with sharing in the first place.

Eduardo Placer  30:38

Well, what I want is what I want to zoom into is story, right? Because I think that what happens inevitably, on social media is not storytelling. For the most part. What happens is trauma dumping. Or just dumping, right, where people are like, I’m going to tell you my story. And then what they do is they just dump language. Right. Now, what’s interesting is that I think the question is, what is the agreement? Or what is the contract of the dumping or the sharing? Right? And I think what’s tricky for an audience is, and this is, are you talking about you? Or you talking through you? Right? Because I think that what happens, which is, I think, sometimes irresponsible, is that people do this release to some imaginary audience. Right, or imaginary followers, or imaginary, whatever. 

Eduardo Placer  31:43

And there’s no responsibility for how that whatever they’re sharing is going to land on the audience. Because I think what happens for me as an audience is I’m thinking, do they have a therapist? Are they going to take their life? Are they being cared for art? Do they have medication? Like, are they taken? Are they taken care of? Right? I think is the question. And it’s not my job to take care of you. Right? Right. Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t spaces where the dumping of trauma are completely and totally valid and necessary, like with your therapist, or in a support group, or in a self help group, when you’re in a community of people where you’re just like kind of working through something. And the agreement, or the contract from the people who are witnessing is, we are here to support you working through and processing that. Right. And I think it’s the Wild West, on, you know, Instagram Live or social media. And then you have a lot of people who are influencers or whatever, just really just dumping on there. And there’s just no responsibility for it. Now, what’s interesting. And this is the interesting piece about story and storytelling, that people think they’re telling stories, but what they’re doing oftentimes is recounting an event that happened. 

Eduardo Placer  33:15

And they’re navigating territory sometimes where they’ve never shared whatever that is before. So they are kind of like in a murky wilderness, kind of like, where it’s very easy for them to get lost, or retriggered. Or break down like so. So for me as an audience, I don’t necessarily trust that you know, where you’re going there either. And I think that’s, that can also be compelling theater, because you’re just like, Oh, my God, what the hell am I watching a train wreck? Am I watch? Like, who knows what I’m watching. But I’m compelled to watch because there’s a part of my like, psychology or part of my brain, which is just like, the thing that the algorithms pick up, right? The thing about a story is that a story has a clear beginning, a middle and an end. So a story has a plot. A story has character. A story has conflict. A story has a theme. A story has a setting. And if it doesn’t have that it’s not a story. So noticing that what people do is they timeline. So they start saying I was born, and then I went to college. And then I went to then I got my degree, and then I got my first job. And then I got married, and then I got divorced. And then I had a miscarriage, and then I had an abortion. And then I had right so then there’s all these things. 

Eduardo Placer  34:44

Notice how I went and then i Then I came out as a lesbian, dude, I mean, and now I’m trans. And now you know, and but it’s like I’m in a bio. I’m in a timeline. I’m not in a specific story. And I think that what’s powerful is that a story is an amazing tool for you to process, an event, or a series of events that happen. So you can now extract, if you give it that kind of structure, what happens is now you’re able to zoom out,

Eduardo Placer  35:21

and then understand. And then once and then that in itself is its own process of healing or understanding so that what happens is me as an audience when you finish. Now I know why you told me the story. And what happens is when we’re time lining or doing some chronology, or event dumping, oftentimes for me as a listener, like why are you telling me the story? Like why am I like, what happened? Like, why am I here? Because you actually haven’t done the work to figure out why are you telling me this story? And the thing for a storyteller that I think and this is the thing that I belabor I belabor it with all of our clients is this thing in a plot, which is called the inciting incident. So the inciting incident is the moment that something happens. It’s unexpected, which is now why you’re telling me a story. So a Tuesday at Starbucks when nothing is happening. So I’m sitting at Starbucks, I’m having a latte. And then I went to the mall, it was amazing. I hung out with my friend, regretting them in shopping, and I was like, we’re gonna catch a movie, and we saw the movie. It was really great. And I went home. And then I had a latte. And then I had my ice cream, and I went to sleep. And it was really great. And I woke up in the morning and went to work. And you’re just like, what happened? Like, what’s happening? I don’t know what’s happening. Why are you telling me all of this stuff? Right? Because there’s no, you’re not telling me what happened. Which is now why we’re in a story. 

Eduardo Placer  37:03

So there needs to be an inciting incident, there needs to be something that happens outside of the ordinary, which is now why you’re telling me a story. Right? It was a Tuesday at Starbucks. I was having my my normal latte. And all of a sudden, my phone rang. And it was him. And I’ve been waiting for this phone call for three years. And I finally have him on the phone. All of a sudden, like, Okay, I’m in a story, right. So I think that as storytellers, what we tend to do, or people have like a shit ton of exposition, they have all of the stuff that doesn’t mean anything to the story germane to the story that you’re going to tell me get to the thing that happened that’s unexpected, get to the inciting incident. So that now I as an audience know why you’re telling me the story. 

Eduardo Placer  37:59

And I think that the things that you need to be careful of, and, and, and knowledgeable about as a storyteller is an inciting incident and a climax, there is something that happens that’s outside of the ordinary. And then there’s something that happens, that’s like the big explosion, that the big reveal, that is the big shift that happened. And, and, and there is a very clear pathway to get to that climax and everything that isn’t is not necessary to the story. And I think that if you can start understanding storytelling from that framework, I think you start understanding that my speaking is not just an opportunity for me to vent. And there are places where you can do that. Absolutely. And you should like nobody shouldn’t, no one should feel like whatever they have to say, is not like everything that you have to speak is worthy of being heard. And there are people who are poised and ready to listen to that and find and source those spaces. And that’s not necessarily telling a story. And I think that the more people can understand the tool, the the gift, the power of a structured story, then all of a sudden what you have access to is liberation. 

Eduardo Placer  39:29

There’s a great saying from the musical Pippin to trigger the show tonight as again, unless you’re tied down to anything, you will never be free. And I think people love to wing it. And I think that there’s an experience of winging it. But that’s really still you’re searching you may or may not land the plane the the power of crafting the story is one if you know the map of the story that you are telling, I don’t, this is not memorization. This is not like reading from the script. But if like, if you know the map, if you know those moments, if you’re very clear about what that is, what happens is you as an as a storyteller are a guide.

Eduardo Placer  40:22

And you know, where you’re leading me as an audience. And then what that allows for me to do as an audience is trust, that you’re going to take me somewhere. And then what happens is I surrender for the journey, and I’m fully present to the message that you are imparting on me. Otherwise, I check out, because I don’t trust you. I don’t trust that you’re going to take me anywhere. And I think that that’s the power of, and why I think it’s so important to teach storytelling craft. Because I think that, and when you see an amazing storyteller, you’re not necessarily aware of the craft, because they’re an accomplished storyteller. Right? But you’re aware that you’re in the hands of somebody who’s doing something that’s different. And I think that, and I think we can be very inclusive, in how we play with that structure. I don’t think that it all necessarily has to look like or sound the same. I think that you as a storyteller need to know where you’re going so that I, as a listener, can surrender and follow. And I think that that is a that when that happens, your present to absolute magic.

Dave Ursillo  41:40

Beautifully said Eduardo, it speaks what you’re just saying there the trust those requisite in leading, telling a story, which is leading someone through an experience through their imagination through the felt experience through their bodies. You mentioned that what happens to someone can’t be like, can’t be your responsibility as the stories teller. But the storytelling that I’m hearing you describe, does come with a responsibility when you are being governed by the responsibility to the audience and that and the trust that can bring somebody into a story. 

Dave Ursillo  42:15

So there is forethought, there is planning there is consideration in as opposed to winging it or processing out loud, which we are all entitled to do. But you distinguish it as being different from the art of storytelling, in which the question of why seems to be necessary to govern? The fact that it’s being told at all?

Eduardo Placer  42:41

Correct. And again, I want to make a distinction between that I think a phase in the process is verbal diarrhea, dude, I mean, like, I think absolutely, yeah, crafting me make a mess of it, you know, like figure it out, like, like, part of that is, is a part of the process. And that’s getting to the storytelling, that is not the story. Right. And I think that the, and there are spaces that exist to support you, in the figuring out what is the story that I’m looking to tell? And how do I tell that story. And, and I think for people who are serious about telling their story, or using their story, as a tool as for their business, or in service of other people, I think that you are behooved to understand that because it is the gift that keeps giving, if not, there’s a lot of spaghetti that’s being thrown on the wall. And I think that if you can understand the technique, and the tool that is the gift that’s going to keep giving in your life, because that’s going to be the biggest resource that you have the biggest tool that you have to build true, connected, bonded connection with an audience and and the audience knows it and they feel it and you also know it and you feel it and there’s nothing like it. And I also say there’s no such thing as private speaking so all speaking is public speaking. Right? So that is on a sales call that is standing on a TED stage that is speaking to your therapist that is speaking to your family for a holiday thing that is a best man or a maid of honor speech. Like all all of the ways in which we can use and the thing about story that’s so beautiful, is it it is fundamental To the human. Like, if we think about the ritual of story and storyteller, it takes us back probably, to some plane, or somewhere in Africa around a fire, where someone uttered something, a word, or a series of words that were formed and framed into a story to make sense of something that these people were experiencing. And from that origin story, all the stories emerged. And I think that it is a ritual that connects us to the profundity of our experience as human beings. And I think that that there is power in that ritual. And I think maybe what I am is someone who wants to to allow us to reflect on the power of that ritual and to understand the ritual. Let’s understand the ritual, then you can play then you can break all the rules, right? But understand the ritual, understand how it works, so that you can then be virtuosic? I think what happens is people try to be virtuosic without really understanding the rules, and then it’s a hot mess.

Dave Ursillo  46:35

Eduardo Placer here is the founder of fearless communicators. Eduardo, thank you so much for joining us on The New Story Is this was fascinating. We’re gonna have to have you back to talk more about story, understanding the ritual so much more. I really appreciate your time. And thank you for sharing all your wisdom and your joy with us on the podcast.

Eduardo Placer  46:53

Thank you so much, Dave, till soon.

Dave Ursillo  46:56

And thank you for listening to this episode of The New Story Is we’ll be back soon with a fresh interview for you. In the meantime, if you’re feeling generous and want to help support our show, please rate and review. The New Story Is wherever you listen to podcasts. It helps others to find the show. Until next time on Dave Ursillo. This has been the news story is bye for now.


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