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The Power of Storytelling to Change the World: Dave Lieber (Transcript)

Dave Lieber at TEDxSMU 2013

Here is the full text of author and storytelling expert Dave Lieber’s talk titled “The power of storytelling to change the world” at TEDxSMU 2013 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


And then…

And then 20 years ago, I moved to Texas. I’m not from here; I didn’t know what makes you laugh or cry. I’d never been here before, but I’m hired to be a newspaper columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

And I notice right away that Texans are the most welcoming group of people that you could ever imagine, and they have a unique way of doing it: they ask you a series of questions.

And the first question I got asked — it’s your state slogan — “Boy, where you from?”

It’s a trick question because when I would tell them where I was from, they would quote back a picante sauce commercial from TV. How does that go?

“New York City?”

And what’s the next line?

“Get a rope.”

I didn’t know what that meant. But the Texan has to connect, so the second question I’m getting asked everywhere I go after they find out I’m a New Yorker, is they lean in, and they say, “What church do you go to?”

And that’s a trick question too, because I would tell them I don’t go to church, and they’d get upset; they’d go, “Why not? Don’t you believe in the Lord?”

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