Originally posted on the Orlando Business Journal website by Cindy Barth, Editor – Orlando Business Journal. Excerpts below.
Last year about this time, I chatted with IDEAS chief storytelling officer Bob Allen about the art of storytelling. After all, his Orlando-based company built its business on helping clients tell their own stories via multiple platforms ranging from digital media to film.
“Storytelling is the root product of business,” Allen said. “All you need to know is who the audience is and what’s the best story to tell them.”
Since IDEAS joined the ranks last week of Orlando-area companies signing up for our Social Madness competition, it seemed like a good time to circle back to Allen’s six parts to any good storytelling effort:
(And if your company hasn’t signed up to compete in the Social Madness contest, info about how to do so is at the end of this blog.)
1. You must create characters that connect to the audience. “If you don’t give your audience anything or anyone to care about, why would they listen to your story?” Allen asks. “Give people a reason to connect to what you want them to learn or understand.”
2. Choose the right voice for your story. “Anytime you tell a story, you must do it in a way that people can relate to. If you don’t have any emotion in what you’re telling, you shouldn’t be surprised that no one cares about your story.”
3. Use your story’s plot to create structure. “If you were writing a book, but decided to do it in some kind of stream-of-consciousness way, how could anyone follow the story you’re trying to tell?” Allen asks. “The plot gives you the container in which to build a story. Don’t forget that stories begin with the end and with a clear understanding of what outcome will be measured.”
4. Include conflict and resolution. “This is where you really have the opportunity to grab your audience. Conflict and resolution give people a reason to care.”
5. Use emotion to drive home your message. “If you’re not excited about your story, why would anyone else be? Likewise, if you can tap into other emotions when it helps tell your story, you should as well. Think of the holiday commercials you sometimes see, and how it creates that warm feeling about family and people you love,” Allen said.
6. Create a sense of place. “Stories make pictures in people’s minds. Make sure your audience is getting the right picture with whatever medium you use to tell your story.”
Below are some video examples of some of the above six parts to any good storytelling effort: