Chris Kemp, chief technology officer, NASA

You’re Pre-Wired For Story; But You Must Turn It On

“Will telling stories through state-of-the-art-technology replace state-of-the-heart-technology?” Peter Guber asked Chris Kemp, Chief Information Officer at NASA Ames Research Center and Chairman of NASA’s web council on stage at a conference in San Francisco. Expecting to have a heated debate, Kemp surprised Guber, questioning whether videoconferencing, video on the web, social media engagement and the like could generate the connection humans share when we tell stories in-the-room, face-to-face.

Kemp explained that this heartfelt connection depends on infinitesimal gestures and interpersonal nuances, which no current technology can capture or convey. “Low resolution video hasn’t taken off,” he went on, “because it can’t recreate the detailed signals of the eyes, face, smell, and sound. With someone face- to-face, you react in your gut – your enteric nervous system gives you a visceral read on the other person. It’s a holdover from our primitive ancestors who had to size up a stranger instantly to determine whether to trust him, fight him, or flee for their lives. You don’t get this response with technology because your body knows you’re talking to a screen. The tipping point will be if technology reproduces what it really feels like to interact with people in the same room, face-to-face.”



blog-telltowin-linkTo validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.


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