All you need is storytelling

Let’s listen to the words of Plato, the most pivotal figure of philosophy: Those who tell the stories rule society.
You hear it all the time: Storytelling is important. In fact, Steve Jobs famously said: 

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.”

This is a strong statement. If you want to make people believe in what you do, even if they do not understand it to the fullest, you need to tell stories. Stories have been told since the beginning of communication history and they are used to share experiences, traditions, and ideas. But today’s world is different, communication is cluttered with many communication objects around us. Everything that is told fades away quickly in such an era that doesn’t have strong emotional connections.

But this fact is even more important for innovative companies that are “disrupting” the status quo. Why? People hate change when it’s out of their control. So they’re naturally resistant when you tell them that their lives should be different.

Instead of just telling them that you are going to change their lives, you need to get them on your side and share your vision of the future. And the best way to do that is by telling a darn good story.

You can’t separate the message from the messenger

In today’s world, you’ve been Googled or Facebooked or Twittered long before anyone has heard you talk. They know your backstory, even if you haven’t intentionally put it out there. But it may not be the story you want.

That’s why writing your origin story is so important. It tells your audience who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s a bridge that lets them know your deeper motivations. And yes, they care.

Think of it this way: Every superhero has an epic origin story.
So what’s yours? (Hint: Everyone has one.)

Innovation storytelling is different from classical storytelling

When you listen to stories, your brain releases two hormones.

In classical storytelling, the story was a device used to teach life’s crucial lessons. So they start by scaring you—watch out for the big bad wolf!—which results in the release cortisol, the fight or flight hormone.

The story concludes with a happy ending, which results in the release of oxytocin, commonly referred to as the belonging molecule. When released, this hormone makes you feel connected to your fellow humans.

Innovative storytelling

In innovation storytelling, you don’t want to follow this pattern. Your audience is already resistant to change, so you don’t want to start by presenting the giant problem you’re trying to solve.

So instead, start with the possibility (oxytocin) and then present the obstacles (cortisol).

Just by flipping your narrative from Problem / Solution to Possibility / Obstacles, your audience will be much more receptive to hearing your vision.

Make your user the hero

Many start-ups want to show off the results of their hard work, so they easily fall into the trap of making their product the hero of their stories. They talk about all the cool bells and whistles that they built.

But the Karpman Drama Triangle explains why this is a poor approach.

Storytelling Triangle

It basically says that once you have a hero in your story, you also have a victim and a villain. While this framework doesn’t map perfectly to innovation, it’s good to keep in mind. Making your user the hero ensures they don’t become a victim or a villain in your story.

One example that comes to mind is the iPod silhouette commercials. They don’t talk about the engineering or specifications of the iPod. And they don’t brag about the hard work that went into creating this innovation. But they focus on you, the hero—the hip dancer bouncing around the screen.

Becoming a good storyteller takes practice—you aren’t going to become a good storyteller by reading a blog post or by going to a one-day workshop. It’s a mind set and can be approached just like any other design challenge: prototype, test, get feedback, and iterate.

You would be surprised at how many companies/institutions do not implement good or indeed any stories in their communication. They just produce noise.

Referenced from: https://www.getstoried.com/

By Christian Frode Olsen

All you need is storytelling was last modified: August 10th, 2018 by MIUC
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