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Cheryl Miller Houser

Cheryl Miller Houser

Award-Winning Director, Writer & Producer

Cheryl Miller Houser

Award-Winning Director, Writer & Producer

Biography

Cheryl Miller Houser is an award-winning director, writer and producer who makes documentaries, commercials and brand videos that move audiences deeply. Codifying her insights from decades of filmmaking, she has developed a proprietary storytelling framework grounded in craft and science that’s adaptable to all platforms. She shares her tactics in keynotes and workshops to inspire and empower participants to drive results in marketing, sales, leadership, team building and personal development.

Cheryl has been called a “unicorn among storytellers who works magic with her ability to dial up humanity.” She approaches everything and everyone through this human, emotional and empathetic lens.

Some of Cheryl’s directing credits include feature documentary GENERATION STARTUP, funded by PwC and UBS, which follows six young people for a year and a half launching startups in Detroit; videos for Presidential candidate Andrew Yang to capture his slogan “Humanity First;” hit web series for Food & Wine magazine nominated for two James Beard Awards; and national brand campaigns. Cheryl’s credits as producer earlier in her career include David O. Russell’s first movie SPANKING THE MONKEY, winner of the Sundance Audience Award, CHILDREN OF DARKNESS, a documentary about children with mental illness nominated for an Academy Award and hundreds of hours of top-rated shows for Nat Geo, Discovery Channel and other major outlets, for which she also built and led large production teams.

As a sought-after speaker, Cheryl has been invited by SXSW three times as a featured speaker and by leading corporations including LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley, American Express and Microsoft. She has also delivered talks and workshops at startups, nonprofits and universities throughout the US and globally, including traveling with the State Department to give inspirational Entrepreneurship talks and workshops around the world.

Speaker Videos

Showing Rather than Telling

Elements of Effective Storytelling

Storytelling & Empathy in a Purpose Driven & Economy

Cheryl Miller Houser: Storytelling & Empathy in a Purpose-Driven Economy | SXSW 2019

Speech Topics

STORYTELLING WITH IMPACT: HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE CARE

How can brands, nonprofits and leaders move people deeply, instill fierce loyalty and spur positive action? In this entertaining keynote Cheryl shares her proven 3-step method grounded in the science and craft of storytelling, honed through decades of writing and directing emotionally gripping documentaries and brand videos. With her characteristic warmth and insight, Cheryl curates relatable short clips and stories tailored to each specific audience and industry to bring participants on an emotional journey and illustrate how to apply her framework to all forms of storytelling. Audiences leave inspired to apply Cheryl’s tactics to brand building, marketing, sales, fundraising, igniting innovation, team building, spurring social movements, creating community and more.

Learning Objectives:

  • Harness the art and science of storytelling to develop trust and emotional connection
  • Identify the right people to feature in a story who will bring audiences on a journey of “narrative transportation” and leave them motivated to take positive action, or how you can achieve that if the story is about you
  • Craft a story arc that grabs and holds people’s attention, whether it’s a brand campaign, keynote presentation, investor pitch, blog or presentation
  • Understand how to find and develop stories that will achieve your goals

HEART-CENTERED LEADERSHIP

How do you become a leader who inspires loyalty, creates a culture where everyone feels seen and valued, and drives innovation, collaboration and productivity? Cheryl draws on her decades of leadership experience building and managing large production teams and her heart-centered storytelling method and tactics to provide a roadmap of how leaders can bring their full selves to work and galvanize their teams. It mirrors what Cheryl does with her filmmaking and speaking: unlock our humanity which in turn builds trust, fosters connection and mobilizes people to act. This journey of how to become a heart-centered leader leaves participants inspired and empowered to provide the necessary vision and support to engage their teams, with actionable tactics to drive success for each individual and the company as a whole.

Learning Objectives:

  • Show up as empathetic, human and relatable in a professional setting and understand how this is so powerful
  • Create an inclusive culture where everyone can be themselves at work, collaborate joyfully and contribute fully
  • Inspire, engage, grow and retain your employees
  • Tell stories that galvanize people around your vision and goals

STORIES: BREAK FREE OF LIMITING BELIEFS TO UNLEASH YOUR POTENTIAL

What if we could banish the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back, grounded in our conditioning, past experiences, beliefs and self-doubts? In this keynote or workshop, Cheryl helps audience members uncover their limiting beliefs by interweaving moving short clips and stories of people and situations relatable to the participants. Then, through insights, inspiring anecdotes and reflective prompts, she helps participants question their validity and replace them with empowering stories that act as a north star. Cheryl explores common limiting beliefs we tell ourselves as well as stories we internalize from others – our families, our friends, our society – that get in the way of achieving happiness and reaching our potential. Audience members are inspired to take steps to live life on their own terms and reach for what matters to them. This keynote or workshop is a powerful exercise for personal development. As a workshop, it’s also effective for team building as participants share their personal stories which in turn fosters trust, belonging and collaboration.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: BUILDING RESILIENCE

Being an entrepreneur can be extremely gratifying and exhilarating. It’s also often overwhelming, lonely, scary, unrelenting and full of mini-failures along the way. Cheryl shares raw, honest and also uplifting clips from her feature documentary GENERATION STARTUP which captures the journey of six young people moving far outside their comfort zone, failing and figuring it out by doing. Audience members see themselves in these universal stories of struggle, failure and triumph, come away inspired to conquer their fears, reach for their dreams, and remain resilient and determined on the path to making those dreams come true. This keynote or workshop is a powerful experience for entrepreneurs, innovators, people setting off on a journey at a moment of big change in their lives, or anyone who wants to feel empowered to follow what speaks to them rather than a conventional path.

Testimonials