Full registration only $299

Terry O'Reilly

Session Synopsis: If You Don't Have A Story, You Don't Have A Business

The company with the best story wins.

This presentation is about the power of Storytelling. The smartest, most effective marketers in the world use storytelling to persuade. We are all hard-wired to love stories, and every product and service has a compelling story to tell. This talk helps your audience understand how to build stories and gives them the tools to start using storytelling in their own businesses. This presentation includes:

  • How storytelling can add immediate value to your product/service.
  • How to harvest stories from your company/organization and your customers.
  • How storytelling can communicate intangible qualities like trust, confidence and security.
  • How stories can launch new products and maintain mature brands.
  • How storytelling creates intense customer loyalty.
  • Why the best storytellers are the best listeners.
  • Why storytelling is one of the most cost-effective strategies in marketing.

This presentation also includes powerful examples of Canadian and international marketing campaigns that used storytelling in surprising and enormously effective ways.


Terry began his career as Copy Chief for FM108 Radio in Burlington, Ontario, where he discovered that with meticulous planning and attention to detail, you can still fall flat on your face. With that learning, he went on to become an award-winning copywriter for Toronto advertising agencies Campbell-Ewald, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Chiat/Day. He created campaigns for many of the top brands in the country, including Labatt, Molson, Pepsi USA, Goodyear Tires, Tim Hortons, Volkswagen, Nissan and the Hudson's Bay Company.

In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television. A creative audio production company producing scripts, sound and music for radio and television commercials, Pirate grew to a staff of 50 with 8 recording studios in Toronto and New York City.

Terry has won a few hundred national and international awards for writing and has directed such notable actors as Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Kiefer Sutherland, Bob Newhart, Martin Short and Drew Carey. He even managed to create an advertising campaign for a group of nuns. (Good story there)

In demand as a keynote speaker, Terry talks about the key marketing issues all companies and organizations face – from the critical need to embed emotion in marketing, to why customer service = profit, to how to change a negative perception, to why smart marketers don’t outspend their competitors - they outsmart them.

He served on the inaugural Radio jury at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 2005, and was named chairman of the following award show juries:

  • The International Clio Awards in Miami
  • The London International Advertising Awards
  • The Marketing Awards (co-chair) Canada

When he's not creating advertising, he's talking about it as the host of the award-winning CBC Radio One/Sirius Satellite/WBEZ Chicago radio show, Under The Influence, which is the follow-up to the hit series, The Age of Persuasion. The New York Radio Festivals awarded his show the Grand Prize as Best Radio Program in 2011 and 2012, and iTunes chose it as "Best New Podcast of 2011."

Terry has been given the following career awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – American Marketing Association
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Advertising & Design Club of Canada
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Television Advertising Bureau

Honorary Degrees have been bestowed on Terry from these great institutions:

  • McMaster University – Honorary Doctorate of Laws
  • Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning – Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies
  • St. Mary's University – Honorary Doctor of Civil Law

He has also been honoured by Ryerson University:

  • Inaugural inductee to RTA School of Medial Hall of Fame
  • Alumni Achievement Award 2015

Terry has co-written a best-selling book called The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture, published by Knopf. His latest best-selling book, titled "This I Know: Marketing Lessons From Under The Influence", also published by Knopf, is available now in book stores.

He has a wonderful wife and three lovely daughters.

Who like some of his work.

Back to Top