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Great Leaders Are Storytellers: How To Craft Great Stories | Jesse Lyn Stoner

How To Craft Great Stories: The Challenge

Create a dilemma with proper tension or dissonance with which associates can identify, then using one sentence, describe the challenge for each of the key characters.

Questions to help you create dissonance:

- How can I build a sense of concern, conflict, or suspense?

- Will my associates be able to visualize the challenge the same way I do?

- Will the dilemma create enough dissonance associates will desire a resolution?

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Great Leaders Are Storytellers: How To Craft Great Stories | Jesse Lyn Stoner

Great Leaders Are Storytellers: How To Craft Great Stories | Jesse Lyn Stoner

https://seapointcenter.com/great-leaders-are-storytellers/

seapointcenter.com

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Key Ideas

Great leaders are storytellers.

Stories are more than just tall tales or campfire yarns.

They include discussions of the enterprise in the future tense. They can inspire, instruct and invite.

How To Craft Great Stories: The Context

Establish the setting or scene.

Start with a transition to signify the story’s beginning before creating a realistic backdrop.

Ask yourself:
- What do I want my associates to feel?
- How can I nurture a sense of adventure, mystery, suspense, joy or invitation?
- Will my associates be able to visualize the scene I have in my mind?

How To Craft Great Stories: The Challenge

Create a dilemma with proper tension or dissonance with which associates can identify, then using one sentence, describe the challenge for each of the key characters.

Questions to help you create dissonance:

- How can I build a sense of concern, conflict, or suspense?

- Will my associates be able to visualize the challenge the same way I do?

- Will the dilemma create enough dissonance associates will desire a resolution?

How To Craft Great Stories: The Climax

The climax is a resolution used as a tool for insight and should clearly fit the challenge and carry the associates to new and unexpected directions.

Ask yourself:

- Will the ending surprise, amuse, inspire, challenge, or amaze my associates?
- Will associates view the ending as relevant and important?
- Will associates gain new attitudes, understandings, or skills from the resolution?

Put on the right spin

  • Use a lot of details at the beginning of the story and then faze them out.
  • Timing is key to good storytelling.
  • Practice by recording your story and listening for places pauses might add punch.
  • Use different gestures, varied facial expressions, and dramatic body movements
  • Stay focused and stick to the storyline.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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Storytelling is...
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.

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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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