How To Tell A Persuasive Story? - Deepstash

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The Basics Of Storytelling



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Purpose Of Storytelling

Purpose Of Storytelling

In the workplace, storytelling serves as an essential, powerful tool for effective communication.

It gets people excited around an idea, or a value, or perhaps some drier information that might not have been as interesting before.


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Make Your Story Personal

Make Your Story Personal

Great stories reveal a piece of yourself. It reveals some part about your identity.

The best storytellers look to their own memories and life experiences for ways to illustrate their message

There may be a tendency not to want to share personal details at work, but anecdotes that illustrate struggle, failure, and barriers overcome are what make leaders appear authentic and accessible.


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Be Passionate While Narrating The Story

Be Passionate While Narrating The Story

The storyteller should be interested and be passionate about the story.

If the audience knows why you care about the story, then they would also care.


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Demonstrate Change

Demonstrate Change

The mark of a great story is that the experience being shared has changed the person in some way.

It doesn't have to be a drastic change,. It could simply be a perspective shift or a reinforcement of a belief or an idea.


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Focus On One Big Idea

Focus On One Big Idea

Every single detail in your story should relate to the big idea or theme of the story


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“Those who tell the stories rule the world”



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Additional Tips



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Start With A Message

Start With A Message

First, settle on your ultimate message; then you can figure out the best way to illustrate it.

Every storytelling exercise should begin by asking: Who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them?

Each decision about your story should flow from those questions


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Don't Make Yourself The Hero

Don't Make Yourself The Hero

You can be a central figure, but the ultimate focus should be on people you know, lessons you've learned, or events you've witnessed.

The more you celebrate your own decisions, the less likely your audience will connect with you and your message.


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Highlight A Struggle

Highlight A Struggle

Good storytellers understand that a story needs conflict. A story without a challenge simply isn't very interesting.

Don't be afraid to suggest the road ahead will be difficult. We actually like to be told "it's going to be hard" followed by "but if we all pull together and hang in there, we'll achieve something amazing in the end."


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Elements of a Good Story which sticks inside a person's head



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Stories Create "Sticky" Memories

Stories Create "Sticky" Memories attaching emotions to things that happen. That means those who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others.

Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don't stick in our minds at all.


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Six Qualities That Make An Idea Stick

Six Qualities That Make An Idea Stick

There are two steps in making your ideas sticky:

Step 1: Find the core.

Step 2: Translate the core using the SUCCESS checklist.

1. S - simplicity. It is uncomplicated.

2. U - unexpectedness. It's surprising.

3. C - concreteness. It's easily understood.

4. C - credibility. It's factual.

5. E-emotional. Making people care.

6. S - story. It is wrapped in a story.

Compare the CEO phrase, "let's maximize shareholder value", to JFK's idea, "Put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade." The idea is simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, an


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To make an idea sticky, keep it simple. The idea should be stripped down to its core, where there is nothing left to take away. Use fewer bullet points. Use easy words. Reduce the ideas. The more we reduce the information, the more the idea will stick.

An example of using the core: Southwest uses "We are the low-cost airline." Every decision involves meeting this concrete yet simple goal.


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Use the unexpected to keep the attention. Humans thrive on thinking in patterns. When a pattern is disrupted, it is more easily remembered.

To make an idea stickier:

1. Identify the core message

2. Consider what is counter-intuitive or surprising to your key message. The surprise should make sense after you think about it, but it's not something you've anticipated.

3. Interrupt the guessing, then fix it.

A TV commercial started as a car commercial with a happy family travelling in a car. Suddenly, a speeding car crashes into it. No one saw it coming. It was really a safety ad.


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Concrete ideas are easy to remember. Something is concrete when it can be described or seen with the human senses. It's the opposite of abstract or vague.

Concrete: V8 Engine

Abstract: High Performance Engine

Novices see concrete detail as concrete detail, but an expert sees concrete detail as symbols of a pattern.

The problem is that when we know more, we forget that we're shifting into the abstract.

For example, the jury sees the concrete aspects of a trial, the clothing, manner, specific procedure. The judge sees all in terms of legal precedent and past lessons


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How to create credibility when you don't have a true authority, such as experts, tradition, etc.

1. Use an anti-authority:

A dying smoker can make the point that smoking is bad for you.

2. Use concrete details:

A person's knowledge of details is often viewed as expertise. Telling fascinating Civil War anecdotes with lots of interesting details can make the narrator credible.

3. Use statistics:

Use statistics correctly to illustrate a relationship.

4. Use the Sinatra Trest:

"If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere." Making use of one test case to make the idea credible.


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The goal of making a message emotional is to make people care. Feelings inspire people to take action.

1. The easiest way to make people care is to form creative associations between something they already care about and something they don't care about (yet).

2. Appealing to self-interest:

A common mistake is to emphasize a feature over benefits. For example, telling people you have the best seed instead of stating that it will give them the greenest lawn.

3. Appealing to identity:

Focusing on intangibles such as self-esteem or a sense of duty is more powerful than focusing on money.


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The right stories make people act. Stories encourage a mental stimulation that burns an idea into the mind. For example, a flight simulator is more effective than flashcards in training a pilot.

Good stories are collected and discovered rather than produced.

There are three influential stories to look for:

1. The challenge plot: The classic underdog, rags to riches, or triumphing over adversity.

2. The connection plot: People who develop a relationship that bridges gaps.

3. The creativity plot: Making a mental breakthrough, solving a difficult problem, or creating an innovative solution.


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The Storytelling Formulas



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Three-Act Storytelling Structure

Three-Act Storytelling Structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas:

1. Setup: Set the scene and introduce the character(s)

2. Confrontation or "Rising action": Present a problem and build up the tension

3. Resolution: Resolve the problem


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Five-Act Storytelling Structure

Five-Act Storytelling Structure

Also known as Freytag's Pyramid:

1. Exposition: Introduce important background information

2. Rising action: Tell a series of events to build up to the climax

3. Climax: Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)

4. Falling action: Continue the action from the climax

5. Dénouement: Ending the story with a resolution.


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Before - After - Bridge Storytelling Formula

Before - After - Bridge Storytelling Formula

Before: Describe the world with a problem that your audience faces or can relate to.

After: Imagine what it would be like to have that problem solved and how much better the situation would be.

Bridge: Explain how your product, service, or idea can help them achieve that desired outcome and overcome the problem.


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Problem - Agitate - Solve Storytelling Formula

Problem - Agitate - Solve Storytelling Formula

Problem: Present a problem

Agitate: Agitate the problem

Solve: Solve the problem

First, you present a problem. Second, instead of presenting the "After", you intensify the problem with emotional language. Finally, you solve the problem by offering your product or services.


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Simon Sinek's Golden Circle

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle

1. Why?

Why the company exists

(Why are you in this business? What motivates you)

2. How?

How the company fulfills its Why

3. What?

What the company does to fulfill its Why (i.e. your products and services).


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Dale Carnegie's Magic Formula For Storytelling

Dale Carnegie's Magic Formula For Storytelling

Incident: Share a relevant, personal experience, to grab your audience's attention.

Action: Describe the specific action taken to solve or prevent a problem, showing that a change was needed.

Benefit: State the benefits of the action/change.


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Dave Lieber's V Storytelling Formula

Dave Lieber's V Storytelling Formula

1. Introduce the character.

2. Bring the story to its lowest point

3. Turn it around and finish with a happy ending.

Once you introduce the character of the story, describe how things went awful for him/her, using emotions to draw your audience into your story. At the lowest point of the story, turn things around, describe how things improved, and end the story on a high note.


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Star-Chain-Hook Storytelling Formula

Star-Chain-Hook Storytelling Formula

Star: An attention-getting, positive opening

Chain: A series of convincing facts, benefits, and reasons

Hook: A powerful call-to-action.

The star grabs your audience's attention. The chain turns your audience's attention into a desire. The hook gives them something actionable to fulfill their desire.


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The Story Spine: Pixar's Award-Winning Formula

The Story Spine: Pixar's Award-Winning Formula

Once upon a time there was.... Every day,... One day,... Because of that,... Because of that, ... Until finally, ...

The idea is to introduce a character or a group of character, describe their usual routine, present a twist that disrupts their daily lives, explain how they overcome it, and celebrate!


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The Hero's Journey Storytelling Formula

The Hero's Journey Storytelling Formula

Departure: A hero receives a call to go on an adventure, receives advice from a mentor, and heads out on her journey.

Initiation: The hero meets a series of challenges but eventually completes the mission.

Return: The hero returns and helps others with her new found power or treasure.

This formula is used by many of the greatest storytellers including George Lucas for his Star Wars films!


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Nancy Duarte's Secret Structure Of Great Talks

Nancy Duarte's Secret Structure Of Great Talks

What is: The status quo

What could be: The future that could be possible

Go back and forth between the two and end off with a...

New bliss: The wonderful future with your idea/product/service adopted.


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A daydreamer who's really into psychology, philosophy & novels. Rate me at


Robots can store words, people can't! People need to connect the words like connecting the dots or simply put, a STORY. Example, if you read several ideas from a XYZ book on Deepstash, you will need spaced repetition or other such memorization techniques to memories the flashcards. Maybe ideas which are amazing can be remembered. But if you read the same from the book, then because of connecting the dots, story, examples, etc., there will be a higher possibility of remembering everything from the book & even applying it. Stories also calm people down which makes it a great tool for persuasion.


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