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AI in Storytelling: How to Keep it Human

Kicking Off a Rainy Friday the 13th

What a day! Alarm buzzing, sheer darkness and the sound of raindrops.

The early hours of Friday, October 13th felt straight out of a horror movie.

In the midst of it all, I woke up recalling a vivid nightmare where I stayed out all night and was a no-show at the morning event where I was scheduled to speak. I'm no dream expert, but I'm pretty sure that's my anxiety talking.

Facing Event-Day Jitters

As I sat up in bed and put my first foot on the floor, I made a conscious effort to smile about the dreary day that screamed Halloween and remind myself that with jitters comes the opportunity for thrills.

Sure, I could worry about everything that could go wrong, losing my train of thought when I needed it most, or delivering content that didn't match the audience needs.

But instead I chose to manifest gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunity to team up with Erica Hanna to present at the Social Media Breakfast - Minneapolis St. Paul (SMBMSP) on the Topic of Visual Storytelling with Neuroscience and AI.

Reconnecting with Erica

For those unfamiliar, Erica is co-founder of Camcorder.AI. She's also a six time Emmy Award Winner, a Noble Peace Prize Forum Delegate, a Three-time Top Twitter Personality and Online Course Creator. Simply put, she's a dynamo who even had Prince as a client!

Storytelling with Neuroscience and AI
Erica Hanna & Lori Ryan at Presenting at SMBMSP

Our paths first crossed around 2010 or 2011, at the dawn of SMBMSP and when platforms like Twitter and Instagram were on the verge of going mainstream. Erica, always a trailblazer, was one of my initial follows. We both come from a TV news backgrounds, different channels but a shared understanding of the hectic newsroom life.

Now, Fast forward 13 years (#13 appears to be our lucky charm) our paths have crossed again, thanks to the magnetic pull of social media and our mutual curiosity and passion around AI. That's how the presentation was born.

Key Learnings

Erica's go-to for crafting a compelling story
Nancy Duarte's StoryTelling Formula
  • With Neuroscience, if you want a story to be memorable, you need to incorporate sensory cues. Maybe it was the smell of the bacon as you greeted new faces or the giant coffee stain on the front of your shirt, you noticed a little too late.

  • ChatGPT isn't there to replace you. It's a tool that can assist you in areas you choose. Similar to an e-bike, you're still driving.

It's not just about writing the story
How can ChatGPT help me?

  • If you do want help from ChatGPT crafting something, it's important that you feed it the context it needs to deliver what you want. And don't be afraid to ask it what it needs.

Erica and I were curious how ChatGPT might help promote SMBMSP so we fed it some of the storytelling tricks. Click on the image to see the results.

For those who made it Friday morning, you had to prioritize this gathering over something else important in your life and then you had to brave the elements to get there.

For that, we're grateful. This day would not have been the same without you.

Here are a couple of LinkeIn posts shared after the session. One from Amelia Irvine who is a Marketing Communications Strategist. Here is a sample of some of her key takeaways. You can see the full post here.

💡 The brain processes facts vs. stories differently. Neural activity increases five times when processing stories!

💡 Memory recall increases from 10% to 65% when a photo is associated with the story or information. This jumps to 95% retention when the content is video.

💡 ChatGPT is here to stay, but it's not perfect. The tool is most effective when its output is reviewed and tweaked by a human brain. Companies that don't have dedicated teams playing with and learning from ChatGPT will get left behind.

Here are insights from another attendee, Margaret Korfhage. Margaret is a marketing strategist who says that for marketing to be effective, it must first connect emotions.


In summary, it's that human interaction can never be replaced. The smiles, the laughter, the handshakes, the comforting hugs. It's these personal connections and experiences that will make a difference in your brand messaging. And this is perfectly in line with Erica's key point,

"If you can place the logo of your competitor on your story, then it's the wrong story".

Below, a few photos. A special shout out to my 84 year old dad who is intrigued by the AI related dialogues even though he's never sent a text message, he's now asking me to "ChatGPT" things for him. Before it was, "Can you Google this for me".

Cheers to many more caffeinated mornings with bagels and bacon. Hope you found some valuable nuggets you can immediately apply. Also, your experimenting doesn't have to be for work, it can totally be just for fun and curiosity's sake. This Gif is for Erica who is also teaching me how to add more fun to presentations.

Special Offers

AI assisted video editing - Sign up now!

One promotional highlight was Erica's special offer for "clipper," a product from her company. Check out and use code: smb before Monday, October 16, 2023 for a fantastic deal. To beta-test new products, sign up at

Lori and Erica are also teaming up for the Business, Brand, and Marketing with AI (VIP Intensive). Register soon and get a special discount using code: smbmsp before Oct 20th.

With the rise of AI, there's never been a more crucial time to upskill and adapt to the evolving business landscape.

🔍 Why Attend?

  • Exclusivity: With only 8 spots available, benefit from a close-knit, interactive environment that ensures personalized attention and quality interactions.

  • Maximize Productivity: Get actionable strategies to streamline your workflow, enhancing efficiency and saving precious time.

  • Harness AI's Power: Go beyond theoretical knowledge. Leave with concrete brainstorms and ideas tailored to seamlessly integrate AI into your everyday tasks.

AI intensive with Erica Hanna & Lori Ryan
Knowledge isn't just power. It's profitable! Sign-up Now!

💡 ROI Guaranteed: Your investment in this workshop will not only pay for itself, but the skills and insights you'll gain promise substantial dividends. Remember, in today's fast-paced world, knowledge isn't just power – it's profitability.

  • When: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 8am to 10:30am

  • Where: Minnetonka, MN (exact address to be shared upon registration)

  • Use code: smbmsp before Oct 20th for 25% off your ticket price


AI generated Thank you note!

Subject: From Bagels to Bytes: A Hearty Thanks!

Dear Breakfast Buddies,

As the Friday drizzle whispered of drear, we gathered at Improving, chasing the digital cheer. With bagels in belly and caffeine at core, we dove into the AI lore. A shoutout to Erica Hanna, my comrade in code, whose invite was my road, to this abode of mind meld, where tech tales are told.

Kudos to Mykl and Jen Roventine, our hosts so fine, who amidst bytes and bagels, made insights shine. Under the cozy roof of Improving, we mingled and mused, with AI dreams infused. Oh, what a blend of brains and banter, even the rain outside seemed to ponder!

As we part ways, let’s not let the dialogue decay. Click subscribe,

share your vibe, let’s keep the tech talk alive. Pitch in your questions, share your sessions, for in this digital dimension, every interaction is an extension of our AI intention. With a dash of code and a splash of cheer, awaiting our next techy tete-a-tete, dear peers!


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