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Best Public Speakers Series: Hannah Storm

By Marissa Larson

We included Hannah Storm on our "Best Public Speakers" list because of her powerful storytelling and ability to balance directness and empathy.

Best Public Speakers

Hannah Storm is a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting for women, an advocate for children’s issues, and a published author. She is an award-winning ESPN anchor, NFL play-by-play on Amazon Prime Video, President Brainstormin' Productions: film director and producer, Founder Hannah Storm Foundation: advocate for children suffering from vascular birthmarks, published author, and most importantly, a mother of three.

We reviewed Hannah Storm's interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr on NASCAR's Sports Center, where she shares the career, challenges, and current situation of the famous driver's life choices. In this interview she connects with Dale Earnhardt Jr and features a life of racing fame and tough choices.

What are the main communication takeaways?

  • Storytelling Ability: Hannah is a powerful interviewer and storyteller. She creates a genuine connection with her interviewee to bring to life their life story and passion. Throughout this emotional and rational conversation, the audience feels like they are in the same room with them. She is extremely personable and professional, allowing her interviewees to feel comfortable sharing stories and real emotions that capture the essence of who they are, beyond what we know of the "athlete".

  • Balances Directness and Empathy: She is straightforward in asking the tough questions and discussing hard choices and difficult situations, all while maintaining grace and empathy for her interviewee. She is not an expert in any given sport, but is able to use language and examples relevant to the sport or situation that give her credibility and authority.

How could they improve?

  • We are hard-pressed to improve Hannah's work other than to say she remains cool, confident and composed under pressure. It is nice to see her "relax" a little in this interview while she learns more about Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his life outside of racing.


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