The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



Learning from a Master Storyteller

Largest regional chamber event this year draws over 200 guests

By Rose Tanasugarn

On July 17, the ACCJ Kansai chapter hosted the largest regional chamber event this year. Garr Reynolds, best-selling author and five-time presenter at Japan’s TEDx (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talks, gave a riveting presentation to a packed audience.

The event, which was hosted by the Business Programs Committee and sponsored by Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd., was titled “Why Storytelling Matters in 21st-Century Presentations.” Held at the Ritz-Carlton, Osaka, it drew over 200 attendees.

Reynolds’s interactive presentation kept the audience rapt and engaged, by showing amusing multimedia and images that were familiar to all attendees. He successfully demonstrated that text-filled PowerPoint slides are a thing of the past.

To be memorable and effective, Reynolds emphasized, a speaker must find new ways to connect with the audience.

Quoting the character Grand Jedi Master Yoda, of the Star Wars saga, Reynolds reminded us that in giving presentations, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Presenters should also keep things simple, unexpected, concrete, and credible, he said, as well as impart emotion while sharing a story.

Dr. Carsten Brunn, president and CEO of Bayer Yakuhin, gave some closing remarks.

“Garr’s presentation was thought-provoking, informative, and highly entertaining. He reminded us of the power of storytelling as a way to inspire people in a way that appeals to both their rational as well as their emotional side.

“I spoke to many participants after the event, and everyone took away something practical to implement in their daily work—including myself,” Dr. Brunn said.


A native of Los Angeles, Rose Tanasugarn serves on ACCJ Kansai’s Business Programs, Women in Business and Community Service committees.