"The Power of Story" – How to Create Stories That Sell and Share Them Thru Social Media


Published on

Learn the 9 beats of every great story and how you can use them to sell yourself, your company, a product, service or cause.

Be sure to click on the "Speaker Notes" button below the slides to see the entire script.

Added bonus: A quick training on how storytellers can use social media to share their tales with the world.

Published in: Education, Business
1 Comment
  • How do you explain the 'sidekick or lovestory'
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Recently, Forever Living Products International provided me the great honor and privilege to present our approach to storytelling to over 3,500 of their distributors from more than 140 countries. They gathered this August in Washington, DC during the company’s annual International Super Rally. The following is an abridged version (but with all of the meat) of my presentation on how to craft and tell compelling stories to accomplish your dreams. I began with one of my favorite sayings... “What makes a great story also makes a great life.” You can choose to live an epic or a snoozer. It is completely up to you and how you choose to tell your story.\n
  • Unfortunately, there are so many people and and mediums competing for our attention, it’s difficult to be heard through all of the noise. There are 700 TV channels, but nothing on. Text messages, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, email, blogs... We’ve become so “connected” that we’re disconnected. How can your story compete with all of this noise?”\n
  • We’re going to show you how with this presentation we call, “The Power of Story,” and the 9 beats in every story that make it standout, get notice, and compel people into action. \n
  • So, what’s your story? Let me show you a sure-fire way to craft your story. You already know how to do this innately. We’re all born storytellers. It’s what separates man from beast. However, when you understand the ancient rules of storytelling and WHY your story works, then you’ll know how to make it even better. So let’s begin.\n
  • As simple as it sounds, all great stories are told in three acts. They have a beginning, a middle and an end.\n
  • It’s kind of like making coffee. You begin with beans, which are the elements of the story. This story might be a French Roast, Sumatra Blend, or Cappuccino, whatever kind of story you want to tell. Your beans are the flavor. And in this particular story, you have one quest – one goal to achieve: Making the BEST cup of coffee ever. But to get there you have to move through Act II.\n
  • You grind up and pulverize your coffee beans, pour scalding water over and cook the grounds, essentially put them through hell.\n
  • And in the end, you attain your goal of creating the perfect, rich and frothy cup of coffee, and all is right in the world, at least for now.\n
  • Within each act – your beginning, middle and end – THREE things must happen. We call these the “9 Beats” to telling a great story. Let’s take a look at them.\n
  • ACT I begins by establishing the hero in your story. Who they are and what they’re about. The story starts out even stronger if your protagonist is what we call a “Reluctant hero,” someone who is so unsure of their ability to succeed that they resist taking the journey in the first place. However, something in their life morally propels them forward.\n
  • The second step in Act I is to define what is at stake. What is their goal? What are they striving for? The outcome needs to be compelling enough to make the journey worth taking in the first place.\n
  • Then you launch your hero into action by creating an “inciting incident.” This is the event that is caused by either outside circumstances, or by something self-imposed, that turns your hero’s world upside down and makes them take action. I’m sure you have had times in your life that you HAD to take action, whether you wanted to or not. Image one of those times. That is what we call an “inciting incident;” something that INCITES you into action.\n
  • ACT II of your pitch begins by describing the obstacles and antagonists that stand in the way of your hero’s success.\n
  • These can be people, places, and or things that they must overcome. And don’t forget the most powerful of all antagonists: Your own fear and self-doubt.\n
  • Enter the sidekick – the love story portion of the tale. These are the people who are essential to helping your hero find success in their journey. This is a great time to introduce Forever, its products, and perhaps a significant other person who has helped you – the hero – to succeed. Then you describe how you are on your path to success, again, being as specific as possible.\n
  • Then, right when you think you have success at hand, it’s snatched away from you. Something happens that makes the journey even more difficult and makes your hero question whether or not to forge on. This is where we really get to see what makes your hero tick. This is when their morals and resolve are revealed and tested, and their true character brought to the surface.\n
  • ACT III begins by resolving the conflict in your hero’s journey and trumpeting their ultimate success.\n
  • They have overcome their obstacles, vanquished their demons, and persevered through hell and high water to reach their goal. Describe their accomplish with great detail and vigor. How it felt, and what it means to the important people around them.\n
  • You and your audience are celebrating the success of your hero as we move into Step #8 of the 9-beat story outline. This is when you deliver the perfect insight from your story that resonates with your audience. For example, think of the last movie you saw that you just couldn’t get out of your mind. The story was so compelling it followed you around for days. That’s what you want to achieve with your audience at this part of your pitch. You accomplish this by first understanding your audience and THEIR perspective – what they want or need – BEFORE you begin telling your story. Then you tell a story that is appropriate to them. This is the anchor point that ties your pitch to their lives.\n
  • Step number 9 is your finale. This is when you invite them to begin their own epic story with Forever, and you’re here to help them. It’s the sequel to your story, only now they are the hero and you, with Forever, become their sidekick. To be continued...\n
  • This story structure works EVERY TIME, providing you have an interesting hero, compelling journey, and an outcome that people care about. And most importantly, that your story is told from the PERSPECTIVE OF YOUR AUDIENCE – what they care about, want or need. Now lets pull out a notepad or storytelling workbook and begin crafting YOUR story starting with Act I.\n
  • Describe your hero, which is probably “You” in this case. Tell us about your goals or what you wanted to achieve. Then give us the juicy details about the inciting incident that turned your world upside down and propelled you into action.\n
  • In Act II, tell us about the obstacles and antagonists you had to overcome. Who or what helped you in your journey. Every great hero has a sidekick or love interest (Doesn’t even have to be a romantic love interest) who is there to help them succeed. Then, right when you thought you had success in your hands, how did it slip away in the “All is lost!” segment? Or maybe you achieved the success you wanted only to find it hollow, which moved you on to achieving even greater things. How deep did you have to dig into your inner self to get over this unforeseen setback, which at the time may have seemed insurmountable?\n
  • Tell us how you persevered and what was waiting for you on the other side with unimagined victory. At this point you want to anchor your audience to make sure your story resonates with them and their view of the world. Then invite them to join you in the next chapter of your journey, which stars them as the hero setting out on their own epic adventure with you as their sidekick ready and willing to help overcome all obstacles and celebrate their ultimate success.\n
  • Can you see how these pragmatic steps in crafting your story can make a big difference in how you share it? I guarantee that you can easily identify these nine steps in every great movie you’ve ever seen. They’re pretty obvious once you know what to look for. And they work EVERY TIME. Now, let me throw one more curve at you. After all, every great story has a plot twist. One of the ubiquitous obstacles that we all have to overcome is TIME. A story, like a bore at a party, just can’t go on and on and on. Remember, audiences quickly grow tired. Your story MUST have a deadline to raise the stakes and make your audience feel the urgency of your hero’s mission. A deadline makes the action all the more tangible to your audience. They are experiencing the passage of time right along with your hero.\n
  • In this case your deadline is three minutes. You must perfect and tell your stories within in three minutes or less. Remember how short our attention spans are, and how we’re constantly bombarded with information that competes for our rapt attention? That’s why your story can’t go on and on. Tell your nine beats of story in a compelling fashion within three minutes, and you can’t miss on engaging your audience. Who would like to start...\n
  • Where you tell your story is as important as to how you tell it to break through the noise of life.\n
  • So we’re going to explore the greatest storytelling revolution of mankind: The internet. Now you can share your story immediately and effortlessly the world over. You can either fight it or embrace it, and learn how to make your story standout amid the cacophony of communication.\n
  • One of the greatest challenges with social media is where to start? These seemingly simple channels can be intimidating for anyone trying to get up to speed. When you look at all that is available to you – from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to LinkedIn to blogging – it can get a little mind boggling. So we’re going to help you sort it out and tame your social media anxiety.\n
  • We’re here to help you build your own social media command center, and show you how you can use these online channels to grow your business. One way to do it is to begin with your website, which hopefully also includes a blogging tool so that you can stay in touch with your customers and prospects. This website and blog becomes the center of your social media universe. I’ll come back to this in a minute. First let’s talk about the characteristics of some of the most popular social media tools.\n
  • Twitter is the Pied Piper of social media channels. Every tweet is short and sweet. You only have 140 characters to get your story across. Twitter is a great way to send simple messages out to your followers to let them know of recent blog posts, coming events, recognize others in your community, and to quickly stay in touch. It’s a terrific channel to start building a following. Twitter is also great for “Listening” to conversations, which gives you a better understanding of what your audience cares about, and therefore allows you the insight to provide content that is relevant and resonates.\n
  • Next up is Facebook. I know many of you are already on Facebook. I think of Facebook as your international media center. You can upload videos, photos, tag people you want to recognize, fan others, and share your journey. It’s the social media channel that allows you to mix business with pleasure through the information you provide.\n
  • LinkedIn, on the other hand, is purely your professional side – your online business resume that builds your reputation as an international entrepreneur. It’s a little more serious than Facebook, and a great complement to it. We’ve illustrated it here like Russian Babushka Nesting Dolls. LinkedIN is where you attracted other similar-minded professionals and nest them as contacts and resources that can help you build your business.\n
  • I view LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as the social media channels that cast your net to capture a sea of people to your website. You use these channels to reach out and build your online community. It is where you publish your ideas. I view the next three social media channels “Utility channels.” By utility I mean it’s where you specifically host videos, photos and powerpoint presentations that feed content into your blog and your other social media channels.\n
  • The first of these utility social media channels is YouTube. It’s where you can build your own international TV station, and broadcast yourself around the world. Imagine how powerful YouTube can be for storytelling with training and motivation.\n
  • The next utility channel is Flickr, where you can create and share online photo journals. Think of it as an endless wall to hang your photos on that the entire world can explore.\n
  • The final utility channel is SlideShare. Not as many people know about SlideShare, but it is ideal for posting and sharing your powerpoint or Keynote presentations. Say you have a killer opportunity meeting presentation that you’ve created. And all of your distributors would like to use it to build their own businesses. You can post it on SlideShare – password-protect it if you like – and make it available to your entire downline to help them with their pitches. I even recommend including presenter notes and a script so that your presentation can be duplicated and delivered as perfectly as possible. So lets bring them all together and take a look at what your online universe might look like.\n
  • We begin, of course, at the center of this slide with your website or blog command center. And if you’re not already using a blogging tool, I highly recommend you look into one. It amplifies YOUR voice online that becomes a shareable archive for all of your customers and prospects. Let’s start at the bottom lefthand corner and move counterclockwise with the utility channels that feed your blog beginning with YouTube. You use it to broadcast your featured videos that you embed or include within your stories. Moving right across the bottom, your personal Flickr channel will also feed your blog articles with your favorite photos and give your readers a place to go for photo albums that can expand on your story. Likewise, your personal SlideShare channel archives your product and opportunity meeting presentations and can feed them into the stories you tell about how to build your business on your blog. You can see how all three of these social media channels can work independently to share your videos, photos and presentations, as well as be the source of this powerful content that drives your website and blog. Now that you have a terrific strategy for crafting and sharing stories and pitches, how do you let the world know it’s there? That’s what Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are for. You can link your blog to Twitter, so that every time you post a new story it will automatically be Tweeted throughout your kingdom of followers. It essentially provides the headline of your article to pique interest and let them know immediately that you have something important to share with your group. Your blog can also be directly linked and posted on your Facebook page, so that all of your fans around the world will have access to your knowledge and insight instantaneously. And finally, your professional network on LinkedIn can also receive the stories you publish on your blog with a direct link. They can read it in its entirety on LinkedIn, or be redirected back to your website and blog. You see, you can write one story, embed video, photos and a powerpoint, click on the publish button, and have it immediately populate all of your other social media channels. Pretty powerful sharing.\n
  • There is one last online tool that I wanted to share with you, and that is Skype. How many of you currently use Skype for real-time, one-on-one conversations over the web? I think of Skype as your magic carpet that can take you any where in the world to talk one-to-one with your customers and prospects. It’s not social media in the way the other channels are used, because these channels reach the masses. Skype is more intimate in that it is your online video telephone that won’t cost you a dime. It is a wonderful tool. If you don’t have a Skype account, I recommend signing up right away are start using this remarkable tool.\n
  • So after this training, how has our hero done? Remember how we began this journey with him in the forrest of social media confronted by all of these intimidating and confusing channels? And, as we have learned today, every great story has a character arch where our hero transforms himself from reluctant, fearful protagonist, to...\n
  • ...a brave new hero who has conquered another fear: in this case, taming social media and putting it work for his business. I hope this presentation was helpful for you to do the same.\n
  • To learn more about the teller behind this training, please connect me at http://about.me/parkhowell, or explore my “Sustainable Storytelling” blog at ParkHowell.com.\n
  • Thank you for participating in this “Power of Story” training session. And although it has come to an end, the next chapter in your incredible journey is just beginning. How are you going to make it an epic, AND how are you going to share it with the world?\n
  • "The Power of Story" – How to Create Stories That Sell and Share Them Thru Social Media

    1. 1. What makes a great story also makes a great life.
    2. 2. NOISE!
    3. 3. The 9 Beats of Every Great Story
    4. 4. So, what’s your story?
    5. 5. Story = Three Acts
    6. 6. Beginning Middle End
    7. 7. Beginning Middle End
    8. 8. Beginning Middle End
    9. 9. The 9 Beats of Every Story Act I
    10. 10. Who’s your hero?
    11. 11. What’s at stake?
    12. 12. The inciting incident.
    13. 13. Act II
    14. 14. Obstacles & antagonists?
    15. 15. Sidekick orlove story?
    16. 16. All is lost.
    17. 17. Act III
    18. 18. Victory!
    19. 19. Anchor your audience.
    20. 20. To be continued...
    21. 21. Act I
    22. 22. Act II
    23. 23. Act III
    24. 24. Where you tell your story isas important as how you tell it.
    25. 25. Social media for storytellers
    26. 26. The end.