When an international tech company approached TEDxSydney with the idea to deliver a storytelling workshop to their team as part of a company conference, TEDxSydney had been thinking about how to extend its reach into the B2B space.

“We have created our global reputation within the TEDx world, and beyond, as people who can deliver a high-quality experience at scale. We’re already a go-to event for many organisations and teams looking to motivate and inspire their people,” TEDxSydney Founder Remo Giuffré says.

“And we do get a lot of group bookings. We also have a very vibrant set of corporate partners who love to engage with our members in ways that align themselves with our values – innovation and creativity.

“When the storytelling workshop presented itself, we thought this would be the perfect option.”

The team developed a two-hour workshop on the ancient history of storytelling and its power and relevance, including the various hormonal effects that it has on the brain and how it works, using case studies from the TED main stage.

TEDxSydney is connected to alumni speakers that can act as illustrative examples and collaborators in what it delivers into the corporate sector.

“TED is very much about presentation literacy and the premise that storytelling is as core a skill as language and mathematics,” Remo explains. “The ability to communicate, get your ideas across to other people and have them share your vision is critical to leadership.”

Remo Giuffré founder TEDxSydney
Remo Giuffré, founder TEDxSydney

The tech company brought C-suite clients from the South–East Asian region to Melbourne and the first storytelling workshop was a success. “They loved it,” Remo beams. “90% of them rated our workshop as the best part of their conference, because our piece was only one component.”

The organisation has gone on to deliver a similar workshop to a global management consulting firm in Sydney.

“We apply these narratives and storytelling to management and leadership, or whatever the company has chosen to highlight,” Remo explains.

“It's the democratisation of that and the premise that it’s not just elite speakers on the main stage of TEDxSydney who can do this. Every person has the capacity to tell their story in 30 minutes, 10 minutes, one minute, or 30 seconds. The interactive part of the workshop invites people up onto the stage to do that.”

Remo believes team building is imperative because it’s the people in an organisation that will enable things to get done. “Purely and simply, they are the most important,” he states.

“An organisation that’s working well as a team is a happy organisation; one that is directed and focused on congruent organisational objectives as defined and communicated by storytelling from the top down, from the bottom up and from sideways in.”

TEDxSydney understands the need for efficient communication because it is what Remo calls an “organisational miracle”; without physical premises it partners with a co-working business in Sydney called Work Club Global and most of them work remotely.

As a volunteer-driven organisation, dozens of people assist in propogating Australian “ideas worth spreading” to Australia and the world, while a small group of part-time paid professionals oversee and manage the volunteers.

“It’s volunteer-driven but professionally run,” Remo notes. “It’s quite unusual within the TEDx world but we are much larger than every other TEDx event. We’ve had to develop our own organisational models that work to something at this scale.”

TEDxSydney 2020 will take place at the ICC Sydney on May 22, and this year’s theme is ‘real’. Remo explains: “As we enter the 2020s, we just felt it was time to reset and rethink what it means to have real conversations about our personal and societal future.”

The curatorial team has been speaking with potential speakers, performers and filmmakers about getting real with its messaging. “We endeavour to have a conversation with Sydney and the world; with the dreamers in our audience,” Remo elaborates.

“We want to make people feel that we’re ready to talk, we’re ready to listen and we want everyone to be in the same room having honest conversations with one another.”

For businesses interested in finding out more, contact Cassandra Kevin cassandra@avantagency.com.au, Head of Partnerships TEDxSydney.