Masters of storytelling august 2012
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  • McKinsey = Slides that are suitable for circulation A clear heading that set out to tackle a point to aid success or reducing failure.
  • Entertaining and visual stories inspire and are more memorable. Karl Kapp - knowledge broker, frequently speak to and consult with businesses on topics related to the convergence of learning, manufacturing, and e-technology

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  • 1. Masters of storytellingAugust 2012Kevin SugrueKevin.Sugrue@brandzeal.comBrandZeal.com 1
  • 2. What’s this all about?Some context before we startWe spend a large proportion of our time bringing research, ideas, or data to life for our workcolleagues or clients. We present actionable insights and make clear recommendations; but areour presentations always as engaging and influential as they should be?Why is this important?This presentation guides you toward more impactful and influential storytelling. Great stories arememorable, influential and resonate with their audience. They provoke an audience response andact as a catalyst for changes in behaviour.Who is this session designed for?This presentation was a skills development session originally designed to help encourage brandconsultants, account planners, researchers and brand managers to be more effective storytellers.It provides advice on storytelling theory. As well as many practical examples, resource links andtools that create more influential presentations.I’m an experienced presenter, what’s so important about storytelling?I believe storytelling makes presentations more memorable and influential. Bringing ideas orinformation to life with stories primes your audience to share and act upon yourrecommendations.A great story makes your point resonate. 2
  • 3. What’s in the box?Examples of Presentation Tools and Data VisualisationThe first half of the presentation provides a toolbox of ideas and aids to better storytelling. Dip into these, explore them and they should inspire you and improve your presentation technique. Use them as relevant to your storytelling needs. They don’t provide one fixed template for storytelling and using few should go a long way in any singe presentation.StorytellingThe second half brings together examples of storytelling theory and tips on how to write better stories in your presentations. 3
  • 4. Data Visualisation 4
  • 5. Data visualisation – go watch this first• http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mccandless_the_beauty_of _data_visualization.html 5
  • 6. InfographicsBringing data tolife in interestingways 6
  • 7. Both simple and complex information is made moreinteresting through infographics 7
  • 8. But you don’t need a graphic designer to bring yourstory, thinking or data to life Simple infographics you make yourself may work just as well to make your point 8
  • 9. Another example of visualising data in a fun way to aidstorytellingIn this example the power of the story overcomes a need for exact accuracy in thevisualisation – people get the point quickly, even if a cake slice is slightly too large or toosmall. Brand A 8% Brand B 12% Brand D 26% Brand C 9% 9
  • 10. Looking for inspiration? Here are over 50 ways tovisualise data Periodic Table of Visualization Methods http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html 10
  • 11. Wordle– Tip to creating word cloudsWord clouds shouldn’t look like this – where phrases have been separated Word clouds should look like this I it Brand I love it Actor Ad Advertising Media The Best Brand My Favourite Media Favourite Best love The Best Great Advertising My film film Actor Great Use the Tilde key ~ between words to join them together in the word cloud. e.g. My~Favourite (Can’t find the ~ symbol on your keyboard? Then hold the Alt key down and type 0126 this = ~ (Tilde) 11
  • 12. Introducing simple graphic design andstorytelling tools Creating titles, key messages and brand specific colour visuals 12
  • 13. Installing Happiness30% Ready 13
  • 14. Spell with FlickrCreate graphic signposting and headlines in presentations to provide emphasis,direction, or punctuation between sections. http://metaatem.net/words/ 14
  • 15. Flickr Colr Pickr – add photos that match brand orcampaign colours into your presentation http://krazydad.com/colrpickr/ 15
  • 16. Maybe you could use online tools to help spell out yourkey message in an engaging way? Try this for yourself http://www.allisnotlo.st/index_en.html 16
  • 17. Fiverr : get people to bring your story to life – for $5 e.g. Video results written on a beach or a success celebrated with a song.http://fiverr.com/ Have a graphic designer create icons or key words for you 17
  • 18. Fiverr - get people to bring your story to life – for $5• Laser cut coffee and cupcake stencils to say your message• http://fiverr.com/fabricafifa/laser-cut-a-coffee-or-cupcake-stencil• Pop art pic• http://fiverr.com/makemebark/create-a-pop-art-portrait?autoplay=true• From 35 page PDF to a flipbook emagazine• http://fiverr.com/qualityarticle/take-your-boring-pdf-and-turn-it-into-a-professional-flipbook• Have your message sung to any tune• http://fiverr.com/divalicious09/sing-a-original-song-of-yours-or-cover-version-of-a-song 18
  • 19. StorytellingThere are lots of ways to tell a good story 19
  • 20. Different ways of presenting your story:McKinsey v Bain & Co Visual and simple – requiring an engaging explanation of the context and correctDensely complex – nothing missed out, interpretation – but once the convention iscreating almost a mini presentation on one understood, the slide explains the storysubject or point in one slide very quickly McKinsey Style Example Bain & Co Style Example 20
  • 21. Richard E Mayer – the importance of visualsPeople understand LESS when the People listen and understand MOREpresenter simply reads every word on when a story is spoken and illustratedeach slide verbatim with relevant visualsKaraoke presentations are ones where a presenterreads aloud every word on a screen.This causes the audience to listen to how well each Does your pet foodword is read aloud – rather than listen to and meet the evolvingbecome involved with what is being said and lettingthe story itself influence them. needs of your pet?Multimedia learning theory – optimal learning occurs when visual and verbal materials are presented togethersimultaneously. Meyers = People & Emotional Involvement (Qual inspired storytelling) and Rational supporting dataused more sparingly (Quant illustrated for emphasis, not just a pile of numbers). 21
  • 22. Karl Kapp – Emotions in storytellingEmotional storytelling is more impactful.Emotions, more than facts, lead morestrongly to actions and behaviourchange in clients.For example – use anecdotes and verbatims tomake the client relate to the consumer’semotions; make examples relevant to client’s ownlifee.g. Don’t just say ‘There is a 3% decline inconsideration among 16-24 year olds’ if you couldsay ‘Younger consumers, like your kids, are growingless engaged and fewer are now considering buyingyour brand.’Take a personal approach to presentations – beenthusiastic in congratulating success and deliverwarnings in a measured professional tone. 22
  • 23. Kurt Vonnegut: Thesis on storytelling The author Kurt Vonnegut studied famous stories and found the most widely known and memorable ones follow commonly repeating patterns.Good fortuneIll Fortune Beginning End Time Line e.g. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back. 23
  • 24. Kurt Vonnegut: Thesis on storytelling Cinderella, or the gospels from the Bible’s New TestamentGood fortuneIll Fortune Beginning End Time Line Stores that take you on a rollercoaster but clearly resolve are more entertaining, memorable and more likely to inspire action from clients http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP3c1h8v2ZQ 24
  • 25. Kurt Vonnegut: Thesis on storytelling But what if there isn’t a clear positive or hero to your story? Does that mean the storytelling has to be dull? Nebulous Heroes and Villains: Hamlet, The Sopranos, The WireGood fortuneIll Fortune Beginning End Time Line Even stories where there are no ‘good guys’ or where clear success is difficult to demonstrate can be told as gripping stories. 25
  • 26. Storytelling example : Spaghetti Sauce A masterclass in storytelling by Malcolm Gladwell. This concerns a researcher who changed the way brands think and what products they offer to consumers; through an insight into consumer needs. http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.html 26
  • 27. Learning storytelling from KamishibaiSource: JF Chenier 27
  • 28. Let the audience construst the story, don’t tell themwhat to think 28
  • 29. Don’t talk about numbers or things, tell stories aboutpeople 29
  • 30. Weave facts around simple story lines, helping thelistener organise the information 30
  • 31. Speak with enthusiasm; perform! 31
  • 32. Storytelling is a Show Business – don’t be bashful inshowing what you mean 32
  • 33. With stats and details, guide the audience towards thepoint and give them time to see how this links to yourstory Focus the story on what they should see in data 33
  • 34. Don’t forget the candy; give them something positiveto think about that they didn’t have before Kamishibai storytellers didn’t charge for their story – they sold candy to their audience. What candy do you sell to ensure a warm welcome when you turn up to present again next time? 34
  • 35. So you want to be a great storyteller? Where to start? 35
  • 36. Use visual analogies to help bring story points to life Did the client have a big idea, but leave the consumer confused by the ad – a bit like jumbling up the picture shown above? We see that all the parts are there, but the finished work doesn’t quite make sense. 36
  • 37. Collect anecdotes that demonstrate relevant examplesof your pointThis card was in a box containing a shirt bought from an online fashion retailer. It immediately puts the buyerat ease, reassuring them and leaving them in control if they need to change their purchase. This provides agood example of customer service 37
  • 38. Analogies may be more compelling and memorableways of communicating a key point.For example This is Eugene Cernan. He is one of only 24 astronauts who have travelled to the moon. He was the last man to walk on the moon. Do you remember him and what he did? This is Neil Armstrong. He is one of only 24 astronauts who have travelled to the moon. He was the first man to walk on the moon. Do you remember him and what he did? People are more likely to remember brands that are first to achieve a major distinction. What unique first and point of distinction will be your brand’s claim to fame?
  • 39. Crayola AnalogyProduct fragmentation vs. The Long Tail Your brand needs to be clear at which point ‘doing more of the same thing’ becomes unprofitable and ‘doing something different’ becomes imperative. Crayola Crayon Timeline 39
  • 40. Be more interactive– Use vote response cards during your presentation before revealing key results Particularly useful for auditoriums / large audiences that are otherwise hard to gauge and interact with. Probe by asking people why they voted the way they did. AGREE DISAGREE 40
  • 41. Use a cultural, entertainment, or iconic thematic tohelp you build engaging storytelling Example The Brand Trilogy Set your brand on the path to adventure and success: What will be your brand’s... Identity? Point of Supremacy? Ultimatum for the consumer? An idea from AMV 41
  • 42. Use a cultural, entertainment, or iconic thematic tohelp you build engaging storytelling Brands don’t win awards for the Best Performance without also having Best proposition Best script Best supporting cast 42
  • 43. Use a cultural, entertainment, or iconic thematic tohelp you build engaging storytelling Or are there heroes to celebrate in your story? Were there super powers in brands to be dramatised? http://iconlibrary.iconshock.com/icons/the-ultimate-collection-of-free-movie-icon-sets/ 43
  • 44. Use a cultural, entertainment, or iconic thematic tohelp you build engaging storytelling Could a brand horror story be discussed with a touch of humour, to defuse tension or confrontation? http://iconlibrary.iconshock.com/icons/the-ultimate-collection-of-free-movie-icon-sets/ 44
  • 45. Brand Toys – a conversation tool for brands http://www.brandtoys.com/#/build 45
  • 46. Example: Talk about social media iconically Appropriate use of graphics make a presentation more engaging http://iconlibrary.iconshock.com/icons/150-best-icon-sets/#more-7314 46
  • 47. Would icons aid navigation through your presentation? http://www.tuttoaster.com/great-web-button-set-free-download/ 47
  • 48. The Resonant Phrase 48
  • 49. Collect interesting images and quotes and save them on theserver – so great ideas are shared and not lost 49
  • 50. The Resonant Phrase• A good turn of phrase helps to gain audience attention summarise a point or demonstrate an issue to great effect.• A resonant phrase leaves a lasting impression on the listener or reader. It’s memorable and motivational.• A resonant phrase may act as a catalyst or clear warning; helping to influence your audience, changing their behaviour.• Some examples... 50
  • 51. Example resonant phrases*• Brands with common sense or a sense of humour share the same thing; only they move at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense dancing.• The more you celebrate the difference in your brand, the more there is to celebrate.• Are we are becoming so specialised that we risk knowing more and more about less and less?• Conformity is the arthritis that sets into a brand, making it less athletic, nimble and original.• Advertising shrinks demand for the ordinary and drives brands to astonish.• Celebrating a brands uniqueness spreads infectious joy.• Our work is always a portrait of ourselves. The only question is whether we strive to perfect, or merely reflect a shadow of the original.*Some of these are quotes that I’ve adapted and repurposed for relevance in marketing or research 51
  • 52. Resonant phrases I love• Creativity isnt an occupation, its a preoccupation . - John Hegarty• Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. -Clay Shirky• I dont want to invent anything that wont sell. Sales are proof of utility, and utility is success. - Thomas Edison• The simplification of anything is always sensational. - G K Chesterton 52
  • 53. Writing your story 53
  • 54. Using any presentation creation tool shapes the way we think, ratherthan letting you be innovative in telling a story. This is why presentation slides often look the same. PowerPoint is great, but it constrains you; so you work within set parameters.Pen and paper allow for freeformthinking and let you imagine howyour data, ideas and story shouldcome to life. 54
  • 55. Create an Oasis of Time and SpaceTo write a story you need to think. Andthinking works best when it isuninterrupted.So find a space where you can’t beinterrupted; a sort of oasis for writing.Set both a time and deadline to write in.Ensure you go to the oasis with a clearunderstanding of the task – what needs tobe done. What does the finish line looklike?Listen to John Cleese discuss being creativeat the link below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmtsLhkQg 55
  • 56. When you have your story – always have it checkedover by someone with a fresh pair of eyes – Avoid mistakes you will never notice, because you get too close to the work. Every great writer has an editor and a proof reader. Discuss and build the ideas in your story through discussion with others. 56
  • 57. Great storytelling is... • Emotively Engaging (involving) • Different (distinctive) • Interesting • Have a clear context • Uses evidence to support the key points • Includes actionable insights and clear recommendations It should also be focused and ideally single minded, as the more unrelated points you raise, the fewer the audience will remember. By ensuring you include new news, unique information, present with credibility and remain relevant to the audience and subject, you will be more persuasive. These recommendations are inspired by Millward Brown research 57
  • 58. SummaryGreat stories are involving and memorable. They include anecdotesand emotion. They make the audience think.There are many ways to tell a story. But a story about people andideas is more likely to influence action among your audience than astory that only sets out facts or numbers.I hope I’ve inspired you to be more engaged in storytelling. Kevin Sugrue Kevin.Sugrue@brandzeal.com BrandZeal.com 58
  • 59. Thank youThis presentation is not all original work. It contains a combination of ideasand material from dozens of talented people. I thank them all and havetried to name them and link to their work where possible. 59