“A good story has to be extremely particular and peculiar to your life. It has to have an element of singularity and yet – and this is the alchemy and paradox of storytelling – it has to be something immediately universal, part of something that we all experience,”
Last week, I shared Dr. Klaus Oberauer’s research into how working memory operates and how multitasking is more fiction than reality. One of the key findings in Dr. Oberauer’s work is that there are three functional components of working memory: the active center of attention that is being processed by the brain, the active data [...]
"When I decided to write an article on brand storytelling inspired by TED talks, I went about it all wrong.
Scouring YouTube for tactics, elements, and components of brand storytelling, I was aiming to find five or ten (or 17) actionable tips that you can use to tell you brand’s story.
I was already boring myself to death and I hadn’t even begun to write.
We have all heard (ad nauseam) about the “power of brand storytelling,” and I know that I have read more than one blog that spits off a numeric list of tips that I just “can’t live without” as a content marketer.
I began to get curious about what pulls me, personally, into a story. What is it that moves me so much that I become an advocate of the brand/person/cause that is being talked about in the story? What is that secret sauce in brand storytelling that activates the magic button inside each of us, firing up our passion?"
"Google wanted to solve a problem we can all understand. People take so, so many photographs and yet they actually do very little with them. A chosen few are posted to Instagram....So Smarr and his teammates — product designer Brett Lider and user experience designer Clement Ng — set a task for themselves. They wanted to create software that would have rhythm and flow like "actual storytelling." Actual human storytelling."
In this commencement address for the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern University, Dan Pink shares a personal story about the wisest advice he ever got on how to live. A fellow linguistic, he received this advice from a professor (minute 7:36): Sometimes you need to write to figure it (nda: what you are thinking) out. That is wise advice indeed -- and not just about how to figure out what you are thinking through writing. Pink asks the students to engage in an experiment, to go out into the world and find someone in their mid career stage, someone who they admire, who is doing something that contributes to the world, and ask that person how they got there. 97/100 times, the smartest, most interesting, most dynamic, most impactful people answer will answer that question like this: "it's a long story". My parents and friends did ask me the same question Pink posits at the beginning of his talk, "what are you going to do with all that?" due to my picking Liberal Arts/linguistics at the University of Bologna. When someone asks me how I got to where I got today, as GapJumpers did in its interview series on Medium, I do answer, "It's a long story". Good storytelling begins with figuring out what you think and you do that by experiencing, observing, and trying things. How to get motivated to write is often by getting on with the actual writing. As Pink says: Sometimes, the only...
"My father added a whole dimension to my childhood, one that I took for granted.
When my sister and I were little, we had an almost daily ritual with my father: drawing stories.
He would sit us on his lap and get out his clipboard, a piece of paper and his black click pen. He’d divide the paper into four parts, and draw as he told a story. Sometimes he drew old favorites and we knew what would be in each of the four drawings. Sometimes he let us decide what he should say and draw. But most of the time, we had no idea what would come next.
"Stories, told well, are incredibly effective at engaging intellectually and emotionally with buyers. Turns out, I’m not alone in this thinking as LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (a TopRank client) has put together an excellent eBook highlighting 10 B2B Marketing Masters and their insights on storytelling."
"Storytelling with data is having its moment in the journalism world. After leaving The New York Timeslast year, Nate Silver has launched his new data journalism venture with ESPN , former Washington Post blogger and columnist Ezra Klein is expanding his chart-filled approach beyond public policy atVox.com, and both the Times and the Post are starting their own data-driven sites to replace their departed stars."
"Some people have a way of making the complex clear. They know who they are, why they do what they do, and where they want to go. Because they have internalized all this, they are able to sharply crystallize ideas and vision. They speak in simple, relatable terms. And they can get a lot accomplished.
Making your words understandable and inspirational isn’t about dumbing them down. Instead, it requires bringing in elements such as anecdote, mnemonic, metaphor, storytelling, and analogy in ways that connect the essence of a message with both logic and emotion. Almost everyone leading or creating has a vision, but the challenge is often expressing it in ways that relate and connect. Quick, think of some former Presidents of the United States and presidential candidates. Which ones are most memorable? Which ones are most likable? Which ones won? The leaders who stick in your mind are likely the ones who humanize their message and deliver it in ways that connect with everyone at some level, in turn inspiring others to relate to them while better appreciating the mission at hand."
Producer Bradley Campbell says story structure is a like a map, it shows you were to go. For this episode of HowSound, Bradley drew story structures on napkins (really) and we dissect his drawings. [...]
"For marketers and agencies, Chipotle’s success in brand storytelling points to something fairly profound. Far from the converging paid, earned, and owned media landscapes, some brands are so singularly focused on storytelling that they’re weaning themselves from paid altogether. That should blow your hair back. As Coulter says while discussing the Chipotle account, “We don’t think about commercials.”
"We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. It’s an essential skill, but what makes a compelling story in a business context? And how can you improve your ability to tell stories that persuade?"
"The moment in history we focused in on was when narrative biographies started coming out in the 19th century. Biographies up to that time had been lists of dates and 'just-the-facts' and then you saw famous people and wealthy people commissioning biographers to write narrative biographies. And the most famous of them was this guy James Boswell," Lider said.
"So we thought, what if we could democratize this? I think a big story of Google and technology is the bringing of things to people that were formerly only available to the elite. So the idea that we could be your personal storyteller, be your personal biographer, help you articulate the narrative arcs of points of your life was really exciting to us."
"The big problem is that just because storytelling is becoming more popular doesn’t mean it’s always being done well. In truth, effective storytelling is deceptively difficult, requiring dedication, focus, and ongoing practice (talent plays a bit part, as well).
Few people know more about crafting a successful story than Pilar Alessandra, a popular and respected Hollywood script consultant."
"We always hear that this is the era of telling your story. "The world needs to hear your story," our friends keep telling us. But this raises the question—a question I hear perhaps more than any other: How can I tell my story and not bore the audience? The answer is actually quite simple. Your story is really their story."
For a lot of us, the reality is not that we have too few ideas, it's that we have too many. This may not sound like a problem, but it becomes problematic when we get bogged down in analysis paralysis...
Storyboarding as we know it may have been pioneered by filmmakers and animators, but we can use many of the same concepts in the development of other forms of storytelling including keynote presentations or short-form presentations such as those made...
"Storehouse, an app for iPad that functions as a story creation tool with images, video and text, is getting a nice update today. The update brings the ability to embed stories in blogs and on the web, as well as comments and an easy way to find Storehouse users on Twitter and Facebook."
"Former P&G marketing chief Jim Stengel says that the best companies tell two types of stories to build strong and enduring brands."
"The Brand Ideal, or Purpose, of Louisville Slugger is "to make players great." That statement could sound like puffery, except that the stories surrounding the brand make it plain and true. This is the case for most Ideal-driven businesses. Stories make the Ideal wheel spin.
Much has been written about the importance of storytelling in marketing and management, but nowhere do tales have a taller order than inside the walls of Ideal-driven companies. They bring definition to the Ideal. They authenticate it and animate it. They inspire and direct its activation. They reaffirm the course and perpetuate the narrative."
Do you know your audience's resonant frequency? Every time you present to a group -- whether that be your colleagues, management team, the CEO, company investors, your customers, or conference attendees -- you have an opportunity to connect. However, transmission is only the tip of the iceberg. What all great presenters and communicators have in common is their ability to get you started on a journey -- one that will prompt you to do something differently. What causes this change? One of my favorite visual storytellers, Nancy Duarte, has written a remarkable guide on how to present visual stories that transform. Resonate (Amazon affiliate link) is a must read -- buy a copy for every member of your team and see the impact on results directly. The book will teach you how to give a presentation and change the world. Changing the world is hard, and you can do that only when the ideas you present connect with people. Stories convey meaning and resonate with people. They are the hero, not you. Therefore every time you present, you're given an opportunity to plan a journey, tune into the audience's resonant frequency, and move to action. [more on why stories Resonate here] I had the opportunity to ask Nancy Duarte a few questions recently. Here is our conversation. +++ Great communicators have the ability to go beyond holding attention to moving audiences. The best literally march words into action as it was said about Sir William Churchill. Many have talked about...