Every week, I will share the five stories that I have found useful to help our clients and my students sharpen their business storytelling skills. Some are new articles, while others are gems from the Business of Story archives.
Let’s begin with a video from The Future of Storytelling conference, which was in New York last week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make. Fortunately, it was because I was speaking at Michael Gass’ inaugural Fuel Lines Ad Agency New Business conference in Nashville. The two-day program was excellent, and I highly recommend it if you are puzzled as to how to grow your agency in this weird world we live in.
1. Seeing is believing, but it’s probably not the truth
Ever wonder what your audience is thinking? Forget about it. Beau Lotto is a neuroscientist who studies human perception. In this four-minute video, Understanding Perception: How We Experience the Meaning We Create, he helps us realize that “we don’t see the real world—just our version of it.”
This is important for all business communicators, because we often think we know our audiences and what’s on their minds. In reality, our perception of what they care about is as distorted as their view is of us. This video is a great reminder for all business leaders, brand strategists and content marketers to take the time to understand and empathize with your audiences to craft compelling narratives from their point-of-view. As Lotto explains, “Our perception is just a story we tell ourselves.”
2. 20 of the most memorable brand slogans [Infographic]
From HubSpot’s Agency Post, I pulled the infographic created by SiteProNews on what makes a memorable advertising slogan. I don’t know, some of the ones they pick are as lame as they are memorable, at least to me. Like McDonald’s “I’m loving it.” What do you think? What makes a great slogan? Personally, I like something that triggers a story in your mind. Like Alka-Seltzer’s old, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.” It has a snappy jingle attached to it as well, which aids in memorability.
My favorite of this bunch: Red Bull Gives You Wings. It’s a promise that evokes a story in your mind of what giving you wings means from your perspective (See #1 in this post). And it delivers with tons of sugar and caffeine.
3. The easiest way to find your story
I’ve been a huge fan of the “And, But & Therefore” approach to creating the foundation for a story for a long time. The New York Times thinks it’s pretty cool as well. In this post by Andrew C. Revkin, From South Park to the Space Station, Randy Olson Sees an ‘And, But, Therefore’ Story Solution, he covers how Olson helps scientists connect with society through stories. His work is based on a simple formula that has made Eric Cartman of South Park a cult superhero. You should also know that Olson was a recent guest on my Business of Story podcast. Here’s his story.
4. Why storytelling is the ultimate weapon
This article from Fast Company’s Co-Create archive is a staple in my storytelling curriculum. Jonathan Gottschall, Author of The Story Telling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, describes how business communicators can use storytelling as a Trojan Horse to deliver data, facts and stats in a meaningful way to audiences. Lotto’s video at the top of this post reminds us that we are all meaning-making machines, and one of the only ways to impact perception, especially around data, is by encapsulating it in a well-told story.
5. Warming up technology through story
This segment from Mad Men of Don Draper selling Kodak on the Carousel Projector concept is terrific storytelling. Watch and learn.
Every Friday, I will share an update on what I find in the world of business storytelling. Please feel free to send me your articles, blog posts, videos and infographics for potential inclusion in my post.