“When people begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.” – Mark Twain
I always consider it an honor and a privilege to have anyone, especially a group of people, think highly enough of my stories to honor me with the opportunity to share precious time with them. I’m cautious about even posting these comments, but I ask that you look for the message within…the confirmation of a storytelling approach to be meaningful and necessary. It’s for that passion that I offer the following;
As I run the biggest IBM Collaboration Solutions User Group event (Engage) in the world for 9 years, I’ve had the pleasure to see Louis in action many times. Whether I schedule Louis at 8am, at lunchtime or at the end of the day, he always draws a full room. People just love hearing his stories and give him the highest scores on the evaluation forms. Other speakers, who are scheduled in the same time slot always complain (before and afterwards). Business partners and customers who went to Louis’ session regularly stop me when I encounter them, telling how much they appreciate and learn from him. I wish more speakers (and I have between 60 and 80 each year) had the same qualities. Whenever Louis can make it to Engage, he’s the first one I select to put on the list of approve sessions.
One more thing I very much appreciate is that Louis is always available, not only to me, but to all people attending. He does not lock himself up before and after his session, but is readily approachable. In short, the best storyteller around!
Engage Coordinator, engage.ug
I’ve known and worked with Louis for many years and he’s been of very valuable assistance to our business. Having heard Louis speak at Connect a few years back, I knew his messages and style of delivery would resonate well with our clients. We were fortunate enough to use his exceptional abilities as a storyteller to help position collaboration solutions to our audience in ways in which they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to appreciate. On one visit he was the keynote speaker at a high profile event we delivered to the HR leaders from major UK companies and the feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive, with business won as a result.
Louis’ ability to talk to business users about the use cases and paint pictures of the art of the possible has been instrumental in the growth of my business. Not only did it help my customers, but it taught my sales teams how to adopt the same approach and close more business.
Sales and Marketing Director, Intec Systems Limited, Guilford, UK
We were very excited to have Louis speak this year at our OGS. I have been trying to get him to speak at MWLUG for the past two years. As an IBM Business Partner for over 20 years, he is one of the best IBM speakers that I have heard. Louis does an incredible job in presenting and connecting to the audience about social business and what it means to them as IBM customers. His approach of story telling is extremely effective. We at MWLUG would like to encourage IBM to continue providing and supporting resources like Louis to LUG conferences through the world.
Managing Director, Phora Group and Host of MWLUG
Louis, your work continues to be of the highest order – I love your presentations on Slideshare and the videos you’ve put out on YouTube, and it is very obvious from the number of views and RTs that this message it getting out to the wider market. Decks like ‘Where ideas come from’ are unlike anything that I’ve seen from others in IBM, or indeed, from those in other organizations. These are exactly the kind of thought leadership that IBM’s Social Business campaign needs.
Social technology is wonderful, and I’m as keen on IBM Connections as anyone, but technology alone will never solve the communication and collaboration issues that organizations are facing. We need to open up the conversations as to how organizations and individuals are failing in their efforts today, how changes in technique and approach can make a difference, and how IBM’s technology and services (or the services of its partners) can deliver on these promises. Technology-led (or worse, product-led) approaches will not fulfill this requirement. That’s why we need you (and ideally, many others within IBM) to be writing on this topic, to be taking part in panels and Q&As, to be presenting at events world-wide (SXSW, Le Web, E2.0, CIO and CEO-targetted meetings, and especially, non-technology-led events.
CTO / Social Business Strategist – Collaboration Matters Limited
We need to change our approach to be much more focused on compelling ideas and the vision. Through the customer meetings / presentations I have had the pleasure of attending with you, you have delivered on that promise each and every time. You and Jon Mell together are better at delivering the message than anybody else that I know. Personally I always learn from spending time with both you.
Jens Overgaard Dinesen
Chief Executive Officer, Intravision
A collection of comments from LinkedIn messages, corporate blogs and emails
All of my sales reps have wonderful stories to tell about how Louis’ provocative approach helped to create successful white space campaigns and events, open doors to new prospects and gain trusted advisor and thought leadership status at our toughest customers. In each of these scenarios Louis was crucial to us winning new business – Sales Manager
Louis has a unique way to tell a point of view (a story) that resonates and engages. As Louis was “story telling” I witnessed customers reactions and commentary. Even if they had an opposing position, they remained “interested & engaged.” – Sales Rep
Every time Louis’ name would come up as a suggested speaker for one of my events I would breathe a literal sigh of relief! I knew that with him at the helm, I could focus on everything else that goes into making an event a success because with very little effort from me Louis would hit our speaking slot out of the park! – Corporate Marketing Event Coordinator
Louis has a unique way of relating to a customer audience and is able to help open their eyes to new ways of doing business. It has been obvious how popular Louis’ story telling is by the standing room only crowds at our company conferences – Technical Sales Rep
Louis disrupts the narrative and make people think – VP Sales
Customers love Louis and his stories. I would not have been able to progress and close many opportunities over the years without Louis’ ability to create a compelling vision for our clients. Louis is our secret sauce and valuable weapon out there in the field. – Employee Engagement Strategist
Louis always made a huge difference in front of the clients. He delivers the huge value of understanding what the technology actually does for them. That ability to connect the software with the business value by storytelling itself. – Sales Rep
Louis’ way to speak and grab the whole audience is just like Disney for kids! – IT Specialist
Louis has been the main draw for CxOs from clients and partners to attend our company events throughout North America. His storytelling keynotes were cited as being so powerful that clients re-considered our products after they were taken off the shortlist. Our Business Partners look up to Louis’ storytelling skills and have incorporated those skills into their own messaging. – Program Director
Louis’ talent for delivering this context via high-impact stories is unique in our industry and makes a difference in the process of connecting with our customers’ most challenging business objectives. Louis has a gift for bringing together visual design and succinct story that allows the audience to focus on the narrative instead of reading text from a PowerPoint slide. – Solutions Architect
Louis inspired us all to tell stories about why we are here doing what we are doing. Louis put the soul into our organization and made us all immensely wealthy as humans as a result. – WW Channels Leader
Whenever we talk about bringing someone in to speak to our BP’s and/or customers, Louis’ name is ALWAYS on the top – Business Partner Manager
Louis inspires us and saved thousands of hours by making his material available in a repeatable way. A role model! – Digital Reinvention Advisor
Louis has perfected the art of Storytelling, investing himself in crafting a story that matches the situation, sharing his research, expounding his vision of how good it can be when we win hearts and minds but without billion-dollar marketing budgets. – Channel Manager
Louis’ ability to tell a story, while grabbing and keeping the audience’s attention, is undeniable. Louis takes them down a path that makes them want to listen, engage and hang on to hear how it is going to end! – Sale Rep
Every time Louis is engaged, people walk away in awe of his story and his ability to show the value of our solutions in a context that was relevant and compelling. – Sales Manager
Louis is a change agent just by telling stories, and our customers love that! His stories make them act. He also teaches us how to improve our own preparation. – Latin America Sales Leader
I’ve seen the sourest, arms-crossed, skeptical Customer Executives and Security Specialists open their minds, their eyes and ultimately their budgets as a direct result of Louis’ storytelling. – Sales Rep