Fact: storytelling works.
It's been a harsh winter, one that's left their stomachs rumbling, but that's of no concern right now. A lone figure walks into the centre of the circle, features cast into stark relief by the flickering flame. The group quiets, everyone straining to hear. They've looked forward to this, an escape from their constant fight for survival. The figure speaks. They weave a tale. A tale of bravery, monsters, light against darkness. For a few moments, they own the audience, transporting them from where they are, to a world of their creation.
I remember getting dragged before the headmaster one day in primary school, asked to explain why I had been doing so poorly at maths. I could write fantastical stories about space, packed with virtuous heroes, despicable villains, hope triumphing over despair. But I couldn't do division so well. So, I was made to feel like a failure.
That isn't right.
From presentations to pitches.
It lets us create a foundation for our message, tie our critical ideas into a larger whole, bring the audience along with us, igniting their imagination putting them in our shoes. We let our message resonate at an instinctual level because just like that huddled group thousands of years ago, we crave stories.
Perhaps most importantly, powerful stories challenge some of our deepest held convictions.
We hate the people who make and sell drugs. We see them as parasites on society, evils to be overcome. Yet when Walter White emerges on our screens, a narrative history behind him, a journey that we've been on him with, we root for him. Stories can make bad ideas seem great and great ones, well, something spectacular.
So throw away that PowerPoint, you know, the one with the excellent bullet points and the occasional chart. The one with lots of nicely arranged facts but no story. Let's create a story together.
What if you're in a bit of a hurry, what if that pitch is tomorrow and the dog has just eaten your laptop? Well, fear not, here's our quick five-part structure to help you build your engaging story.