Mastering the art of storytelling to enhance your business skills is the focus of an upcoming event being hosted by Southeastern University’s College of Arts & Media.

Nationally quoted in print and on television, Nancy Duarte will offer workshops and lectures Oct. 16, 2018, at the Polk Museum of Art. The talk by the best-selling author and chief executive officer of Duarte Inc. — part of SEU’s annual “Expressions Storytelling Institute and Writers Conference” series — will be “built around the concept of storytelling as a means for building more effective relationships with your audience,” said Dr. Craig Collins, dean of the College of Arts & Media.

David Hallock Jr., a lawyer at GrayRobinson in Lakeland and a member of the College of Arts & Media’s advisory board, says “a happening cultural arts scene is critical to business in Central Florida.”

But “arts” goes beyond local theater, dance performances, and museum exhibits. It includes engaging audiences through story telling, whether that helps lawyers write their briefs, authors write their novels or leaders write great speeches.

“SEU’s ‘Expressions Storytelling Institute’ seeks to directly engage the business community to help us learn to better communicate through the art of storytelling,” Hallock said. “This is the kind of creative and engaging community that helps us attract talent to Central Florida, which is good for business.”

And good for the community as a whole, he said.

The information Duarte will present in three one-hour lectures, with time for questions, will help those who are writing books, press releases and reports, as well as people who just want to enhance the message they send to clients through email, Collins said.

The communications expert has been featured in Fortune, Time and Forbes magazines; the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and L.A. Times newspapers; and on CNN. Her company has worked with the likes of Disney, Apple, Hershey and TED, among others.

“It is often perceived that the concepts of art and business are separate in their applications,” Collins said. “Truly, art, as a profession, is sustained through business. Business is made most effective through art. Every communication we conceptualize, design and distribute exists because of skills and thought processes that are inherently taught and refined in the arts.

“Nancy Duarte is a creative professional who understands the interconnected nature of the arts and business,” he said. “Her portfolio and success speaks clearly to that fact.”

Attendees will leave Duarte’s talk with knowledge on how and why visual storytelling can improve their skills in the arts and in business. Through her hour-long lectures on three topics, she will share information and experiences to help those attending improve their storytelling skills. The three topics, beginning at 9 a.m., are:

Recommend: Use storytelling skills and data to persuade someone or a group to take action.

Resonate: Create a story framework to write a speech that resonates with those in attendance.

Lead: Dust off your leadership experiences and use them to create an emotional environment that will help you lead and keep your organization moving forward.

Thanks to a grant from Visit Central Florida, cost for the event is only $30 per person. Seating is limited to 150 people. To register or for more information, click here.