"Great stories build relationships and make people care."

I remember a friend once told me he’s able to package and deliver the same contents better than me. Pain. While I agree he’s a better communicator than me, it still hurts to hear this.

Storytelling wasn’t a thing then, but the universal truth prevails. Regardless how amazing you are, if you’re not able to grab your audience’s attention and convince them that you are the real deal, it all comes to naught.

Shane Snow shared the following elements of Effective Storytelling in his LinkedIn course:

a. Infuse your story with some level of familiarity
b. Mere-exposure effect: Developing a preference for something merely because you’re familiar with it

a. Our brains like new things
b. Novelty triggers excitment, and maybe fear

a. Keeps audience emotionally invested and involved
b. Create a gap between “What is” and “Want to/could be”

a. Keep it simple, at a low reading level
b. Complexity detracts from effective storytelling

Shane loves Star Wars. Besides proclaiming it as the best story ever, he illustrated Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey with Luke Skywalker’s adventure. While I haven’t watched any of the Star Wars movies, the storytelling framework is definitely familiar and common in many movies. Here are 5 Storytelling Framework/Strategies FYR:

a. Ordinary World d. Meet with the Mentor g. Approach j. The Road Back
b. Call to Adventure e. Cross the Threshold h. The Ordeal k. The Resurrection
c. Refusal of the Call f. Test, Allies & Enemies i. The Reward l. Return with the Elixir

a. “What is” vs “What Could Be”
b. Tension (story) between them

a. In a zone of comfort
b. Desire something
c. Enter an unfamiliar situation
d. Adapt to it
e. Get what they want
f. Pay a heavy price for it
g. Return to their familiar situation
h. Having changed

a. Deconstruct a writing you like
b. Reconstruct in your own words
c. Compare and Analyze
d. Repeat till Optimized

a. Half your Writing
b. Remove Sludge Words
c. Make your article shorter, faster and more efficient

"Why use a long word when you can use a short word" George Orwell

Wow, George Orwell. What’s the 1st thing that comes to mind? For me & my friends, that’ll be Animal Farm. It was a compulsory read for our Literature class, where I learnt the word “Irony”. Without fail, my literature submissions will include at least 1 “What an irony”.

While we may not be George Orwell, here are some tips to enhance our Storytelling chops:
a. Start your presentation with a personal story to create a connection with your audience
b. Tell the story behind your product e.g. Why you made it
c. Know your audience, speak their language & think about what/who they might care about
d. Go deep to better connect with people

Be prepared. Develop a set of stories:

Timeframe Degree of Closeness
a. Timely
b. Seasonal
c. Evergreen
a. Interests & Values
b. Company & Customers
c. Products & Services

Finally, be consistent. Keep telling stories to build your audience! Here are some additional resources FYR:
a. Stories Collection
b. How to become a better writer
c. Shane Snow’s company blog
d. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
e. On Writing by Stephen King

"For stories to really work to be powerful in the long run, they have to be honest and authentic."