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.
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!
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!
A recent trip to the Castro Theater during the Silent Film Festival immersed me in a surreal experience. It was simple, delightful and innocent. It was back to the basics of storytelling. We watched movies made by the Amazing Charlie Bowers, a comedian that used animation and invention themes to tell his stories. The single most powerful way great stories are told is allowing the audience to fill in the blanks. Michel Hazanavicius, the French director of the award winning film The Artist, which took home 5 Oscars including best film and director in 2012 said it best in an interview with The Atlantic “The less you do, the more the audience does”. He recounts a film by Fritz Lang called M, where the killer in the movie grabs a girl with a balloon and the camera follows the balloon. There is no violence, just the balloon. What happened? What…
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!
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?
One of the biggest factor of productivity and retention for employees is feeling connected to the organization. By constantly telling stories from your customers, you help the organization understand their purpose and how each individual contributes to the customer experience. In the medical device industry, patients are often brought into the companies to share how the products have touched their lives through touching and thoughtful stories. Use those stories, we all deserve them.
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
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?
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…
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
We all tell stories. When we were young we told stories to our parents so they would let us stay up late. When we were older, we would tell stories to our teachers so we wouldn’t get punished. In the work place, we tell stories to win business, get a promotion, or simply recount our events. It goes on and on. The topic of story telling has risen through the ranks and has become quite the center of attention in today’s world of content marketing. I have read a few books on story telling and am pretty convinced that we all need to be better story tellers, but I have some questions: How can we be better story tellers as writers, presenters, designers, artists etc.? What are the similarities to leverage across the different context of story telling and what are the crucial differences? What are the 3 simple things…
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!
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…
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…
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.