Good stories are …

  • Entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  • Educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  • Universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.
  • Organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  • Memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

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Communication

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Storytelling is...
...the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.
Why we tell stories
  • Stories solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages;
  • Stories bring people together: stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them;
  • Stories inspire and motivate, by tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad.
Components of a good story
  • Characters. Every story features at least one character, and this character will be the key to relating your audience back to the story.
  • Conflict. The conflict is the lesson of how the character overcomes a challenge.
  • Resolution. Your story’s resolution should wrap up the story, provide context around the characters and conflict(s), and leave your audience with a call-to-action.
  1. Know your audience;
  2. Know your audience;
  3. Decide what kind of story you’re telling;
  4. Establish your call-to-action;
  5. Choose your story medium;
  6. Craft your story;
  7. Share your story.

If your objective is to:

  • Incite action: describe how a successful action was completed in the past and its steps.
  • Tell people about yourself, feature genuine, humanizing struggles, failures, and wins.
  • Convey values, tap into familiar emotions and situations so that the story feels relatable.
  • Foster collaboration, tell a story that moves readers to discuss and share your story with others.
  • Educate, feature a trial-and-error experience, so that readers can learn about a problem and how a solution was discovered and applied. 

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RELATED IDEAS

Focus on Shared Desires

Disney stories have a near universal appeal because they are designed around struggles and desires that are common to humans everywhere.

You can apply this message to storytelling in your company, too. When you’re communicating with your customers, you should focus on the shared experiences and desires that make your product so valuable.

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IDEAS

Dave Lieber’s V storytelling formula
  • Introduce the character;
  • Bring the story to its lowest point;
  • 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.
Exercise for Corporate Leaders

Consider utilizing the exercise below to help develop a positive story:

  • Identify a successful event within the organization, or, an accomplishment by its personnel.
  • Detail the actions leading up to and following the event in chronological order.
  • Develop a 5 minute and 2 minute version of the story for use when speaking with your internal leadership team and personnel.

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