Some of the best narratives come from an unfiltered look behind the curtain.
To see or read something that appears out of place grabs attention. The mind strives to reconcile, “what the hell?”
No failure, no drama. Virtually all movies and novels depict something going awry.
Talk and write like a real human being. You can do it!
Packaging bite-size chunks of a story often resonate with journalists.
The opposite of “Me, me, me … and here’s a little more on me.”
Sometimes, a backstory on how something happens is more interesting than the core narrative.
Everyone likes to keep score. Numbers can bring shape to the intangible.
Nothing bores like the middle of the road, often viewed by execs as a safe harbor. Have a take.
Words matter. A single word amidst a vanilla page can jar the senses.
People gravitate toward the strange and freaky and, yes, weird.
You want the audience to connect the dots on their own. Provide context.
Comparisons – like the difference between “what was” and “what is” – can help the audience ascertain significance.
Even if a picture isn’t worth 1,000 words, visuals accentuate storytelling.
Faces dominate the covers of business magazines for a reason. Cultivate human touch points in your storytelling.
Underutilized in business communications, the anecdote brings realness and entertainment value to the story.
Considered the killer app in business storytelling, the mere cracking of a smile is a win.
Business storytelling with an entertainment dimension stands out. Enter drama, stage left.
Transform an executive into a hero, and you’ve got the makings of a happy ending (and a brand-building moment).
Here’s one surefire way to cultivate drama: Communicate a barrier and tease out the journey of overcoming that barrier.
A distinctive voice can elevate a business story, whether that comes from the company or an individual.
The word “storytelling” has been trending in the communications industry for several years. Virtually every communications consultancy touts its storytelling expertise short of saying: “Hey mister, step into our tent and see how storytelling can change your life.”
There’s just one not-so-little detail that no one talks about. When it comes to business communications, storytelling by its classic definition — a narrative with a start, an end, and something going horribly astray in between — often can’t be applied.
Whether it’s content on a corporate website, a presentation or talking with a journalist, telling story after story doesn’t make for persuasive communications. Plus, inserting failure into narratives isn’t exactly a natural act for companies.
With that said, given a choice between dull or interesting, people will gravitate toward interesting every time (our informal research showed 37 out of 37 people preferred Breaking Bad over CSPAN).
That’s the genesis of this Periodic Table of Business Storytelling and this microsite.
By borrowing the same techniques found in storytelling, fiction and nonfiction alike, business communications become more interesting and thus more persuasive.
Equally important, these storytelling techniques offer a repeatable process to improving content development. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway to tease out an anecdote in the copy.
We’d like this microsite to serve as an industry resource. Consider this Rev 1.0. We know there’s room for improvement and welcome your input. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.