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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

Steps of the storytelling process

  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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/storytelling#

blog.hubspot.com

6

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

Steps of the storytelling process

  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.

Story objectives

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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Bring People Into Your World

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Suspend Reality

Suspending reality is a powerful storytelling technique as it creates a safe, magical world in which to contend with powerful emotions and themes, and it allows the viewer or listener to be transported and associate that escape from reality with the story.

Anything is possible and that becomes inspiration.

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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Purpose of Storytelling
  • Clarifies The Vision and Mission of an Organization. Reinforces the intent of the leadership. 
  • Helps to Address strong challenges of organizational culture. It ...
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.
Three-Act storytelling structure
Three-Act storytelling structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas:

  • Setup: Set the scene and introduce the character(s)
  • Confrontation or “Rising action” : Present a p...
Five-Act storytelling structure

Also known as Freytag’s Pyramid:

  • Exposition: Introduce important background information
  • Rising action: Tell a series of events to build up to the climax
  • Climax: Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)
  • Falling action: Continue the action from the climax
  • Dénouement: Ending the story with a resolution.
Before – After – Bridge storytelling formula
  • Before: Describe the world with Problem A.
  • After: Imagine what it’d be like having Problem A solved.
  • Bridge: Here’s how to get there.

Set the stage of a problem that your target audience is likely to experience ( a problem that your company solves). Describe a world where that problem didn’t exist. Explain how to get there or present the solution (i.e. your product or service).

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“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of ..."

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Storytelling Is Everything

Whether it's telling inspiring stories to customers or delivering a presentation to executives and the board of directors, being a good storyteller helps us make the leap from Good to Great.

Product managers and designers can benefit tremendously by great storytelling, and so can anyone who is working with product design.

Purpose

Instead of selling products, we need to focus on their purpose and what good it does for the end-user. Focus on the need of the customer and design the product around it.

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The Art of Telling Stories

Today, brand perceptions and relationships are increasingly difficult to maintain, due to constraints of limited budgets, a whole lot of options, and audiences who are distracted, disinterested and...

Facts Mean Nothing

The assumption that the audience will logically look at the facts and figures and make the right choice is fundamentally flawed. Audiences ignore most factual data, which even if repeated often, is forgotten or distorted.

An Impactful Story

Even when brands know the value of communicating through stories, it is hard to create truly powerful narratives.

An impactful story usually involves empathetic and authentic people overcoming challenges, which can inspire, entertain and inform audiences.

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What's to gain for Leaders through storytelling?
  • Can keep a consistent focus on the vision of the company
  • affirm faith in the near term intent of the leadership, 
  • strengthen brand loyalty,&nbs...
Two considerations when employing storytelling.
  • Invest in a highly competent Director of Communication.
  • Be central in choosing stories.
  • Personally convey your vision in compelling stories.
Our brain on stories

A story can put your whole brain to work.

When we are being told a story, not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we wou...

We are wired for storytelling

A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long.

Giving suggestions

Exchange giving suggestions for telling stories.

A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.

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Voice as an important tool

Your voice influences the impact of your speech and can make or break its success. 
With some guidance, you can learn to use your voice to increase your power and persuasiveness in a...

Improve Your Public Speaking Voice
  • Slow Down when you speak. Your listeners have an opportunity to absorb and reflect on what you’re saying.
  • Use Voice Exercises to strengthen your voice.
  • Record And Listen To Your Voice. Look for ways to improve your pronunciation, your delivery, and your pacing.
  • Record Phone Conversations. Replay to hear different ways that you could improve your delivery and articulation next time.
  • Focus On Pauses. The drama and power of a speech are contained in the silences that you create as you move from point to point.
  • Eat And Drink Well. Energy is essential for good speaking and voice projection. Cold water can chill your vocal chords and decrease the amount of warmth in your voice.
Stories create “sticky” memories

...by 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 thi...

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. 

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

Think of a moment in which your own failures led to success in your career or a lesson that a parent or mentor imparted.

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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Hardwired for Stories

We love to tell and listen to stories. The 'Story Narrative' is hardwired in us, as we think and remember in stories.

A strong narrative can be the difference between succes...

Creative Problem Solving

Human beings are able to creatively solve problems, alone or in a group. This has given rise to many inventions, shaping common goals shared by a group of people.

We needed a 'sticky' idea to spread it among people, and the story narrative is exactly that.

Relating To The Characters

Stories cater to our Ego. A listener puts himself in the shoes of the protagonist of a story, and an idea is given emotional heft and sturdiness.

The more we are able to relate to the central character, the more engaging, effective and memorable a story narrative becomes.

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