AALHE 2023 Keynote

Karen Eber photo

The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories That Inform, Influence, and Inspire
Karen Eber

Today's world values connections and clear and compelling information. Your ability to connect with the hearts and minds of your audience determines your success. The most impactful way to do this is storytelling. It is memorable, informative, and builds trust. Especially when communicating data. Data doesn't change behavior, emotions do, and emotions are best engaged through storytelling.

The difference between a story and a great story comes down to how the storyteller engages the audience's brain. This talk demonstrates how to scientifically hack the art of storytelling by leveraging the Five Factory Settings of the Brain and showing how to tell stories that inform, influence, and inspire. This talk covers:

  • The science of storytelling
  • Where to find endless ideas for stories
  • How to understand your audience
  • What story structure to apply
  • Where to include details and emotions to engage the brain

Karen Eber is global leadership consultant and keynote speaker. Her talk on TED.com: How your brain responds to stories – and why they’re crucial for leaders has almost 2 million views. As the CEO and Chief Storyteller of Eber Leadership Group, Karen helps companies build leaders, teams, and culture, one story at a time. 

Karen works with Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, Facebook, Kraft Heinz, Kate Spade, and Microsoft. She guest lectures at universities including the London School of Business, MIT, and Stanford. She is a former Head of Culture, Chief Learning Officer and Head of Leadership Development at General Electric and Deloitte and is a frequent contributor to Fast Company.

Karen is publishing The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories That Inform, Influence, and Inspire with HarperCollins in 2023.

Past Keynote Speakers

Monday, June 7th, 2021
Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education
Dr. Jane Marie Souza, University of Rochester and Dr. Tara Rose, Louisiana State University

Jane Marie Souza and Tara Rose will discuss their edited compendium, Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education: Diverse Approaches to Addressing Accreditation Standards

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021
People-Centered Intelligences
Dr. John Mayer, University of New Hampshire

A discussion with Dr. John D. Mayer, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire on key measures and their relations to school and workplace behavior.

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021
Clear, Simple, and Wrong
Dr. David Eubanks, Furman University and Dr. Kate Drezek McConnell, Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)

This session weaves together three recent studies of student learning to show how common assumptions about data summaries can lead us astray, and how to avoid that fate.

Monday, June 16th, 2020
Looking Back to Move Forward: Building Towards Equitable Assessment
Dr. Natasha Jankowski

This keynote takes time to project forward while looking back, building upon the growth of diverse approaches to assess student learning which have unfolded over the past ten years of AALHE supporting assessment professionals.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Diversity Makes All the Difference: Assessing Student Learning and Educational Outcomes in Higher Education Institutions
Dr. Keena Arbuthnot

In this keynote address, Dr. Arbuthnot will encourage the audience to think more broadly about how higher education institutions can ensure that they develop and utilize culturally responsive assessments.

Monday, June 10, 2019
Aligning Assessment Efforts for Impact and Success
Dr. Adrianna Kezar

Dr. Kezar will describe her research on how, and under what conditions, assessment can improve teaching and learning.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Weaving Assessment into the Institutional Fabric: The Benefits of Cross-functional Teams
Dr. Amelia Parnell

The session will provide examples of collaborative work at campuses across the United States and will conclude with considerations regarding the intersections of communication and leadership and how to sustain a culture of assessment in the years ahead.