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Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Rob Biesenbach

By: Gini Dietrich | June 14, 2013 | 
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#FollowFriday- Rob BiesenbachToday’s #FollowFriday is a new addition to the Spin Sucks community.

Rob Biesenbach has been hanging out in the comments for a few months now and just wrote his first guest post about storytelling last week.

In the post, he talked about how he learned to tell a story through writing from Second City.

Improv Helps Storytelling

This is both intriguing and terrifying to me. The idea the organization that trained comedians such as Tina Fey, John Belushi, Mike Myers, and Steve Carell can help you with your storytelling is intriguing, but getting up there on stage and have to be funny? No, thank you.

Of course, to hear Rob tell it, it’s less about being funny and more about being able to improvise and use what you have. While that’s still a terrifying thought, it does make sense it would help with your storytelling.

Still he’s a Second City trained actor, which is more than most of us can say. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see him on Saturday Night Live in the future and we can all say we knew him when!

We’re All in Show Biz

He’s not just a funny guy. He’s a communicator who worked for Ogilvy PR, but went out on his own nearly 15 years ago.

In his quest to end dull and boring communications, he wrote Act Like You Mean Business: Essential Communication Lessons from Stage and Screen, which provides tips, tools, and techniques to connect with emotion, express ideas visually, and tell better stories.

Like my good friend Martin Waxman, Rob believes we’re all in show biz and he’s out to teach you how to tweak your skills to use Hollywood- or Broadway-like techniques in your communications.

Where to Find Rob Biesenbach

A public speaker, a writer, a communicator, and a funny guy, I highly recommend you introduce yourself to Rob and get to know him.

You can find him on Twitter, Google+, on his blog, Amazon, LinkedIn, or on his “official” site where you can see fancy photos of him and learn he lives in Chicago with his allergies (me too).

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

61 comments
LauraPetrolino
LauraPetrolino

Rob!!! I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to get over here to say hi! I ADORED your storytelling blog and your overall philosophy and really look forward to following more of your work! 

I love it when smart people articulate the things I think in my head. Because then I can quote you while in conversation with others and say "Well, as my friend Rob Biesenbach, who is an expert in this area once said..." as if we were just chatting philosophically over coffee, ".....(insert some really insightful thing you said here)...." 

This far beats me babbling about, waving my arms around in large poetic motions, as is often the case when I want to say something but can't articulate in properly. So, long story short......HI!!!! So glad to meet you and thank you in advance for helping me pretend I'm smarter than I am! 

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

Hi, everyone -- I know it's time to move on to Gin & Topics and summer Fridays, but I wanted to collectively thank you again for making my Friday! Also, if you really, really are interested in the blog, it's moving (finally) next week over to my website, which will also sport an overdue overhaul, with beautiful images and short (!) videos and stories and all the other stuff I constantly criticize companies for not having. I'll be announcing the move there and on the twitters and everywhere else. Have a great weekend!

susancellura
susancellura

Hi @RobBiesenbach! I cannot wait to get to know you better via this community, your blog and Twitter account! Have a great and fun weekend!

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

Second City. Way cool. Nice to meet you Rob. I've followed and bookmarked!

Matt_Cerms
Matt_Cerms

Nice to meet you, @RobBiesenbach!! And Happy Friday! When I saw the heading "Imrov Helps Storytelling" -- I immediately thought of Christopher Guest Movies. It's comedy at it's most natural state. Those movies are so funny because they are shot mostly from the hip. As a blogger/storyteller, I am really trying to take pride in my initial thoughts and ideas -- and not add fat just for the sake of it. 

Great stuff.

Cheers!

belllindsay
belllindsay

ROB!!! Loved your story post - I'm a bit of a story freak myself. :) It was great working with you, even if you ARE a tattle tale. I've since forgiven you that little indiscretion. I'm THRILLED to see you are now crowned as an official member of the Spin Sucks Crazies. Happy Follow Friday!!! 

NitterNatter
NitterNatter

I love the idea of taking inspiration from comedy and the stage/screen in storytelling so a very well deserved #FF indeed.

Happy Friday!

Grace, Nitter Natter.

Word Ninja
Word Ninja

Enjoy the limelight, Rob! It's great hearing more of your story. I loved your post...it really resonated as I especially enjoy that digging a writer has to do to find the story. Makes me high when I do. Congrats on #FF! 

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

WB @RobBiesenbach ! All your struggles and you finally made the biggest stage in the world. How does it feel?

Was your 2 years living in a box on the streets of L.A. telling knock knock jokes on Venice Beach now worth it?

Was your 3 years of working the Chicago Beat Comedian circuit playing to brutal crowds of 3 and 4 refusing to laugh now worth it?

Was your 2 years of being the water boy at Second City before they even let you apprentice worth it?

Was the 2 years training at Second City constantly being passed up for the big break because Steve Carroll stole your Schtick and Tina fey all your jokes now worth it?

Was the next two years of semi stardom warming up for Sam Kinnison never quite getting his stardom but surely acquiring his habits of fast women and drugs until your time in Betty Ford with actually a better result than Sam? Recovering and jumping into the PR fray and slowly building a successful career leading to today's bigger than big, huger than huge, greater than great moment worth it?

I sure hope so.

Latest blog post: Email Marketing is not Dead

jolynndeal
jolynndeal

Say something funny! -- (Words that can incite an immediate feeling of pressure.) So nice to meet you, Rob. Your background is very intriguing.  I can see how acting and communications naturally support each other. I look forward to getting to know you.

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

Second City, cool! 

Congrats Rob, it's been good "seeing" you on SpinSucks. Really enjoy your comments / conversations. I'll be through Chicago in late August or early Sept and will look forward to the real thing with you, Gini, Andy, and the crew

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Great, another funny man. just what this community needs. :) Seriously though, happy to meet you Rob, and I'll have to check out your book -- sounds pretty interesting! Happy Friday!

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

Well, this is certainly a surprise! Here I thought Gini had to first check you out in person to make sure you don't have the stink eye (or the crook eye) before this honor. The power of the Internet is a real thing, people -- you heard it here first!

aimeelwest
aimeelwest

Good Morning! So nice to meet you. Ok I have not had my coffee yet so I'm done :) Enjoy your weekend. 

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@LauraPetrolino Thank you, Laura, for the kind words! And, yes, quote me anytime, but be prepared for them to go, "Who?" Glad to be connecting here and on Twitter!

Digital_DRK
Digital_DRK

@martinwaxman @ginidietrich @RobBiesenbach  Small world, I actually took the Second City in Toronto classes way back,  Bad Dog Theatre, and something called the Impatient Theatre, all great Improv schools... [Returning control to Jan 20 - 2014]

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@Matt_Cerms That's a great idea, Matt. Improv teaches you trust -- not just in your scene partners but in yourself. To strip away all the inhibitions, second-guessing and worries about what others will think that we've accumulated as adults and instead just go out there, trust our instincts and "play."

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@NitterNatter Thank you! It was a gradual revelation to me and it just continues to make sense in so many ways! Tina Fey wrote about it in her slightly more popular book.

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@Word Ninja Thanks! I keep trying to come up with the right metaphor. Digging, drilling. I really want to say mining for stories, but then I don't know quite how to string out the rest of the metaphor. Everyone has rich veins of stories, just waiting to be mined ...??? Seems reserves waiting to be tapped works better. Anyway, thought a word person would enjoy that struggle!

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@Howie Goldfarb This is the day I've been working for all that time. I'd like to thank the academy, my agents, and the following 200 people nobody's heard of but I will insist on naming <cue orchestra, hook>

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@jolynndeal "Something funny." BOOM. Comedy, ladies and gentlemen!

That's actually every student's nightmare. You get introduced at a party -- "Rob takes classes at Second City" -- and they go, "Oh, so you're a funny man, huh? Say something funny." Yeah, that's not how it works ...

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@John_Trader1 Thanks, John. Boy, what a setup. Now people expect me to be funny? Okay, a duck walks into a bar ...

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@RobBiesenbach Now you know why I was stalking you yesterday! But this does not prevent me from meeting you in person to be sure you don't have the stink eye...especially because you're so close!

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@aimeelwest Ha! Yes, I'm behind on my coffee, too, as my entire orchestrated early morning routine has been disrupted -- in a good way!

Word Ninja
Word Ninja

@RobBiesenbach A word I find myself using on the occasions I teach is "nugget," which goes nicely with your mining metaphor. And it really is like gold, isn't it?

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

@ginidietrich @JoeCardillo Yep. Need to get up to Wisconsin to see some friends. And wanting to hang with y'all as well. I hear Andy holds court at some place's happy hour on Thursday nights? 

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@ginidietrich I know! I was just saying the other day (to myself), we have to either run into each other at an event sometime soon or just make it happen.

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@ginidietrich @JoeCardillo Gini, I actually do bike (and spin in the winter), but I'm guessing not quite as hard core as you. Like I don't have shirts with pockets in the back and stuff. But I do go very, very fast. 

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