The latest trend in communications is “storytelling.”
But real storytelling is hard. Sure you can throw together a bunch of words, describe product features, regurgitate interviews, insert pictures, create cool graphics and compose killer music. Then comb out the knots and polish by committee. That doesn’t mean that you have a story --something that engages emotionally and moves someone to action.
Storytelling is simple. The most basic story structure is Exposition> Complication> Resolution. This simple structure is everywhere and is how we humans see the world. We want to know what is, what’s changed, and what happens next.
Here’s an example:
Exposition: Back in prehistoric times, Trogg was standing around with a stick in his hand. Grokk, standing a ways off, had a rock in his hand and a smile on his face.
Complication: Grokk threw the rock at Trogg who then swings his stick at the rock.
Resolution: Baseball is born.
The scores, statistics and stadiums are just details to this basic story: A batter stands at the plate. A pitcher throws a baseball at the plate. Something happens.
What draws us in and makes the story our own is that question of what happens next. Strike, ball or hit? Did we guess right?
Of course, once the ball crosses the plate, another story begins. And so forth.
Put this simple structure into every script and you’ll have a video that tells a story and can engage and move people. A great story is not a tale about someone else but about our own emotional journey that we experience though that story.
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