Storytelling is an art, but it’s no longer an art reserved solely for the local journalist on the 6 o’clock news. It’s now a mainstay in most organizations. From communications and marketing strategies, to internal employee engagement and more, storytelling is a key way we connect with our communities.
While many larger companies are designed with full departments focused on communications and content development, there’s no reason smaller organizations can’t tap into the same opportunity by finding the right stories to share. You may not be a content machine or a newsroom, but you can still master the concept of quality stories to share with your audience.
If you’re new to storytelling, there are a few basics to keep in mind. Even the most complex movie plot still comes with the same basics: a character to connect with, a captivating tale, and a solid conclusion (unless there’s yet another sequel in the works).
A good story is designed to have an impact on people, to inspire them to change their behaviour. Facts are important, but it’s the human element than takes a story to the next level. It’s people who bring the facts to life and drive change.
What makes a good story
- It makes us feel. We could feel happy, sad, emotional, angry, frustrated, empathetic…the list goes on and on. The commonality is that reading or watching the story creates feeling. When you humanize a story with a real person who is struggling or succeeding, you’re more likely to tickle the senses of your audience and inspire them to engage with the content.
- It makes us contemplate. We are inundated with stories and content on a monthly, weekly, hourly basis. That’s the nature of the 24/7 digital world; however, not every story makes us stop and think. The ones that capture our interest to the point where we read the story thoroughly, bring it up with our friends, discuss it over supper…these are the stories that get our minds whirling.
- It makes us take action. In 2018, a junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided, killing 16 people in rural Saskatchewan. Logan Boulet was one of the young team members who passed away, but five weeks before the accident he had signed up to be an organ donor. His organs went to six different Canadians and after word got out that Logan had signed his own card, nearly 100,000 Canadians signed up to become organ donors. It’s now known as the Logan Boulet Effect. Logan’s story motivated change. People took action and it was a direct result of his story.
Storytelling is a wonderful opportunity to capture the true essence of the people who not only make up your company but those who have been directly impacted by your business. Whether it’s shared through a social post on Facebook or Instagram, a website blog, a corporate video or an in-person presentation, storytelling is your chance to inspire action and compel people to change.