A picture says a thousand words? Maybe it needs to be less verbose. A picture that tells an entire story is stable, it’s safe, it says it all. You get nods when you tell an entire story using a picture. A picture of an apple is just that, an apple. Your audience will look at it, acknowledge and move on. A picture of an apple while having a headline that reads “Apple” is just plain condescending to your audience. Don’t ever do that. But a picture of an apple with a headline that reads “Orange”, now there’s intrigue. Just like a real story, give your audience a reason to be hooked, give them a gap between expectation and reality, give them a reason not to pass on your real story that is yet to be told.
As a marketer, it means giving me another set of data to segment and target my customers. New set of tools to tackle very traditional marketing challenges: Who do I engage with for the most ROI? How should I engage to move them down the funnel? With databases centered around physicians and other professions in healthcare, it has become increasingly efficient to find out who drives conversation, what are they saying and what is their network online. Wouldn’t you want this type of information to inform your marketing strategies? I know I would. Check out: MDigital Life
One of the fundamental things about any story is change. Change that is irreversible. Your characters will change, the environment will change and most importantly as a result, the emotions of your audience will also change. This is true in any great story and should also be true in any change process: an irreversible change from The Beginning to the New World Order. The idea of an irreversible change is an interesting one and you can essentially prepare for driving change in an organization using the structure of a story. 1. The Beginning The beginning context in any story is there to help the audience feel some empathy for the protagonist and gives a baseline of what the world looks like today. This empathy and context is important because the audience needs to make an emotional connection as well as understand how everything changes throughout the story. For an…
The world is now in the attention deficit era. Tweets, Vine videos, constant bombardment of texts, notifications and GIFs have made us all crave content that is punchy, quick and delivers an emotion. Even when you try and describe something important in a meeting or in a conversation at the dinner table, if you are not entertaining and delivering your thoughts succinctly, you lose your audience. Worst yet, they whip out their smart phone and start tapping away. So what is a communicator to do? What do we all do? Start using metaphors, and start to boil all your words down to something short and meaningful. If we start talking about branding, this is how I’ll kick off our conversation: ” Don’t attempt to express your brand, you should instead brand your expression” Wanna learn more?
In the book by Robert McKee, Story: Style, Structure, Substance and the Principles of Screenwriting, he asserts that there is a big story problem. In short, there is a tremendous lack of good ones. As a veteran in the film business, he never had the problem of rejecting a script that tells a wonderful story but had terrible grammar and literary technique. A good story is what matters, everything else can be fixed. I draw the same parallel to business presentations, sales pitches or anytime you need to influence someone to do something. Wonderfully crafted pieces are far and few between. We have all been either guilty of it or a subject of terrible presentations that bored everyone to tears. Lets make a promise to no longer impose our problem on our dear audience, lets commit to creating, crafting and telling delectable stories, where ever we go.
An absolute awesome read, Scott Bedbury gives his learnings at Nike and Starbucks which, under his watch, became one of the most well known brands in the world. He goes through 8 crucial and distinct principles to achieve brand leadership, but I will yet again condense and give you my top three learnings. GEM #4: A new brand world My top three ideas from the book1. Support innovative products with emotional branding as emotional connections last longer (safety, love, affection, belongingness, esteem and self actualization)2. Brands are defined by a lifetime of collective experiences and actions… so are WE!3. Fight for brand stewardship with a CBO (chief branding officer) that will control all aspects of customer experience at every single touch point to ensure brand consistency both internally and externally
Drama is core to getting your audience at the edge of their seats and keeping their attention. Whether it’s a business presentation or a screen play, what questions should you have the audience asking? Can you allude to solving their problems? Can you throw in 2 steps forward, 3 steps back?
It’s tempting to write about an alien civilization or a mystery happening in the Amazon, but Ricky Gervais, in an interview with Fast Company talks about how it is best to stick with what we know and find something extraordinary to build a story around. Focus on the story and skip the spaceships… You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!
You are eager to tell a story to your friends, or even your clients, something you have experienced. You are excited and you start blabbering away, only to notice that their attention slowly start to fade away. You’re left with trying to figure out how to end your story, and you promptly decide to just end it, sparing your audience the agony, and yourself the despair of watching their uninterested reactions. This has happened to me many times and also during presentations. Has it happened to you? I’m sure you have, we have all seen our audiences checking their phones, looking at their watch, even staring blankly out the window, while you are frantically trying to divulge some very crucial information. In this first post in a series of posts about story telling (#9story9) , I will share 1 insight/rule to spruce up your stories, however you deliver your craft. When…
When influencers speak, people will quote, share and listen. These are people that are thought leaders in their field. When Richard Branson talks about Entrepreneurship, people’s ears perk up, when James Cameron talks about underwater filming technology, techies stop what their doing and pay attention. These are the influencers that companies want to become friends with, why? Because no one is as credible as an impartial influencer and if your product and service is spectacular, you can be sure they will rave about it. So How does one build relationships with influencers? Stick to the basics of being a true friend. Treat them well and expect nothing back. Be transparent and honest Look out for their interests Share relevant and privileged information Involve them in decisions Invite them to special events If you treat them like how you treat your best friends, you are on the way to building a…
The purpose of a story is to influence. In order to craft a story that can elicit a desired response, work from your audience’s perspective. Who are you talking to? What are their beliefs? What do you want them to do? What do they need to understand in order to take that action? Answer these questions as a foundation to building your story. A clear message means a compelling story. You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!
The most memorable parts of a story or performance is the beginning and at the end. To really leave a lasting impression, focus on specific words to kick off your presentation strong and with the right tone. For your ending, make sure it’s impactful and addresses your promise at the beginning for a powerful cathartic ending. JD Schramm: Youtube video You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!
A great story presents elements of vulnerability, struggle, and doubt. Jennifer Aaker, in her article on The Seven Deadly Sins of Storytelling reminds us that these supposed “negative” elements really help bring about empathy and authenticity to your story. You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!
Grab the attention of your audience by jumping into the story. A slow buildup is boring and expected. “The house was eerily still and quiet that afternoon…” is much better than “Hi, I’m really happy to be here today… blah blah blah”. Try it for yourself, start in the middle. You can always introduce your topic later. JD Schramm: Youtube video You can find other storytelling resources on the #9story9 page. Enjoy!
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal: Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype, the author presents a survey conducted at the end of 2012 with ~12,000 U.S. adults about social media. 62% of them responded that social media does not have any impact on their purchasing decisions and 30% responded that it has some effect. At first glance, it does present a compelling argument that majority of social media efforts fall on deaf ears. Low ROI. However, if you take a different look at the data, you might come to a different conclusion. 30% of consumers admitted through a survey that social media influences their purchasing decision, which is a pretty nice return if you can effectively influence 30% your target audience, don’t you think? In addition, people do not necessarily know what influences their behavior, much less being able to report it in…
A group of engineers were sitting in a conference room and their heads hung low, amidst walls of post it notes and scribbling on the white board. It looked like they’ve spent days in the room. And they did. They sat there wondering what was their next move. In a couple of days they will present their plan to the executive committee, and that’s also when the fate of their project will be decided. They were at their wits end. 12 months had gone by and the prototypes still did not meet their size requirements. Management had gotten wind of their side project and wanted to put an end to a distracting project but they were intrigued about what they had heard. The new implantable device would be smaller, much much smaller than anything out there. A size of a pill basically and it would power the heart. But soon, that vision will end. They would…