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Jay O’Callahan: The Power of Storytelling

About this talk

Jay O’Callahan has the rare distinction of traveling the world telling stories. Here, he introduces us to the power of storytelling – that most human, and ancient, art form. Through the lens of a tale about NASA putting a man on the moon, O’Callahan illustrates how storytelling taps into our imagination, engages those around us, and inspires amazing achievements.

Jay O'Callahan, Storyteller

Jay O’Callahan has performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, National Theatre Complex in London, the Olympics, Lincoln Center, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Associated Press has called Jay “a theater troupe inside one body,” and the National Endowment of the Arts awarded him a fellowship for solo performance excellence.

Jay writes the plays and stories he performs. The hallmark of his talent is the passion he brings to big and small dramas of ordinary life. He recently completed “Forged in the Stars,” a story commissioned by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) for their 50th anniversary.

Comments (14)
  • Murilo

    Brilliant, thank you.

  • Sophocle


  • Holly Stevens

    Guys like Jay are a true credit to society – and our imagination. Heartwarming :o)

  • Ted M

    Consider a 16 year old, siting on floor watching the events of this story on a 12 inch black and white analog TV. Reliving that impactful telecast near 40 years later through this story teller, was dramatic and opened a flood gate of memory. How those heroic efforts influenced that teenager to emphasis math, Physics, Nuclear Engineering and eventually computing machines. This story teller communicated not only the fear, pride, and excitement of Buzz, Michael and Niel, but pulled in the people hidden in most official histories who were part of making the event happen — they were made part of the solution to the -trouble- . Thanks, Jay, for sharing the best of what you have become.

  • Franke James

    Skeptical. Do I really want to hear a story about NASA? It was so long ago. Why should I care… But skilfully Jay drew me into the story, and created vivid pictures in my mind. He had me imagining what I would feel in the same situation…. Wow! Jay O’Callaghan is a Master Storyteller. Thanks for sharing his talent here!

  • Anna Pollock

    I learned more about the power of story telling by listening to a master at work than all the books on the subject. His point that, at the early stage of development, “appreciations are gold to me” also should be one taken in by teams and team leaders. How many great ideas have been killed by a premature need to find fault? Does this come from our scientific training that requires us to disprove a null hypothesis, I wonder. Thank you Jay – I am now a fan and eager to learn / experience more of your craft.

  • miere de padure

    he is the best. That speeck it was….

  • Michellesibley

    Thank you for this beautiful story teller’s story! Oh, my I was sitting, then leaning, then standing and leaning to listen intently to this great story. I love his words, voice, expression and delivery. Thank you for making my day. I will pass this along to share with my friends.

  • research paper

    ohhh…. where did you get it???? thank you so much!!!! it is beautiful and amazind and i just dont have enough words to say how i appreciate that you shared it with us!

  • Jarnez

    Truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing! I feel inspired to learn more about storytelling.

  • Tarcisio


  • Bob Ferguson

    This is exactly the piece I was looking for to convey the power of storytelling for one of our True Market Solutions Sustainability Learning Circle sessions.

  • Avery

    We all have a story to tell, would that mine be worthy of such a listener.  I am inspired to speak as if the world were listening.  If that is done then I should always be truthful and try to enrich my fellow man!
    Avery West

  • Business presentation

    There have been a lot of proofs that story telling when doing business presentation is very effective at some point. It is very effective when the presenter knows the things that must be observed and avoided when doing one.

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