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Lighting the Path
to Action:
Realizing the
Power of
Storytelling

Matthew Hendrickson
November 7, 2013
“Begin at the beginning…and go on till
you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll
Make me care!
What is storytelling?
Can you be a storyteller?
How do you do storytelling?
Make me care!
What is storytelling?
Story
n.
A narrative,
commonly untrue.
–A. Bierce
Storytelling, relating to
a series of events
–E. Miller
Storytelling, relating to
a series of events
–E. Miller
Worldview
Value

Change

Frame

Template

Shortcuts

Story

Live
Authentic
“Stories are shortcuts we use because we’re too
overwhelmed by data to discover all the details.”
– S. Godin
“Curiosity is the intellectual need to answer
questions and close open patterns. Story plays
to this universal desire by d...
“This is the role that stories play – putting
knowledge into a framework that is more
lifelike, more true to our day-to-da...
Rule #

“You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting
to you as an audience, not what’s fun to
do as a writer. They can be ve...
Miller’s Framework
•
•
•
•
•
•

Characters
Place
Time
Storyline
Sensory Elements
Objects

• Character’s
Gestures/Attitudes...
McKee’s Framework
• Character
•
Development
•
• Quest/Mission/Desire •
• Objectives
• Hook/Inciting
•
Incident
•
• Problem...
Storytelling Elements
• Quest / Hook /
Inciting Incident
• Conflict
• Progressive
Complications

•
•
•
•
•

Pivotal Event
...
“The story will adapt to the environment.”
-S. McCloud
Storytelling is an art – not a set formula!
Make me care!
Can you be a storyteller?
Memorable & Engaging
Concreteness

Credibility

Unexpectedness

Emotions

Sticky
Ideas
Simplicity

Stories
CONVEY THE
Rule #

“Come up with your ending before you
figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings
are hard, get yours working up fro...
Value
≠ Object
Value
≠ Object
= Meaning of the object
“A good analogy is priceless – it helps us
understand the new by connecting it to
the familiar.”
–Z. Gemignani
Data Visualizations

Exploration

Analysis

Presentation
Make me care!
How do you do storytelling?
Your presentation is
NOT
your handout
Nobody cares about your
2+2=4
2+2≠4
“Stories are, of
course,
how numbers talk
to people.”
-T. Davenport
I have actually made this mistake…
Again…
And again…
And again …
Good, Ba
d, Ugly

Ugly, Ba
d, Good
Ugly
Better
Got it!
Leads
Prospects
Applicants
Admits
Enrolls
Retained
Conferred
“What is truer than true?
The Story.”
- Jewish Saying
“Those who tell the stories
rule the world.”
- Hopi American Indian Proverb
We control the scope
Storytelling is an art, not a science…
practice to get it right
Thank you

Lighting the Path to Action:
Realizing the Power of Storytelling
Matthew Hendrickson
Associate Director – Strat...
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References
Bierce, A. (2003). The Devil’s Dictionary.
Carroll, L. (1886). Alice in Wonderl...
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling
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MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling

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Invited talk presented at the Mid-America Association for Institutional Research's 2013 conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
This talk focused upon using storytelling techniques as a means to present data and gain consensus among constituents.

Published in: Education
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  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/43021516@N06/4383187436/sizes/o/in/set-72157623553383508/
  • Andrew Stanton: What are the Clues to a Great Story (TED Talk)His biggest point in TED Talk: Make me care!
  • Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CountBasieStageDoorCanteen1.jpg#filelinks
  • Image Source: Personal Photo
  • Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pixar_Studios.jpg
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  • Ambrose Bierce: Devil’s Dictionary
  • Eric Miller: Theories of Story and Storytelling
  • Eric Miller: Theories of Story and Storytelling
  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/29853404@N03/4579520419/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/32961941@N03/3166085824/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Seth Godin: All Marketers are Liars
  • Seth Godin: All Marketers are LiarsImage Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/2057350339/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Robert McKee (In Heath & Heath: Made to Stick)Image Source: Personal Photo
  • Heath & Heath: Made to StickImage Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seattle_library_framework.jpg_inside.jpg
  • Curse of Knowledge, Heath & Heath: Made to StickImage Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/teemu-mantynen/3264211384/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Pixar’s 22 Rules of StorytellingImage Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/10260831@N02/2789578350/
  • Eric Miller: Theories of Story and Storytelling
  • Robert McKee in Eric Miller: Theories of Story and Storytelling
  • Adapted from Miller / McKee
  • Scott McCloud: The Visual Magic of Comics (TED Talk)Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monkey_Ladder_Vine_canopy.jpg
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  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/3439224738/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Emotions: PlutchikEmotion WheelImage Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plutchik-wheel.svg#filelinks
  • Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ADull_and_Boring.JPG
  • Seth Godin: All Marketers are Liars
  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/grand_canyon_nps/7558121236/sizes/o/in/photostream/
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  • Pixar’s 22 Rules of StorytellingImage Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/4126263295/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Imagemade with: http://pixlr.com/express/Image Source: Personal Photo
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  • Ty Montague: If you Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story
  • Ty Montague: If you Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story
  • Zach Gemignani: Data Visualization as Storytelling: A Stretched Analogy
  • Robert Kosara: Paper: Storytelling, The Next Step for VisualizationImage Source: Personal Photo
  • Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Data_driven_journalism_process.jpg#filelinks
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  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/3738980707/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Tom Davenport: Keeping up with the QuantsImage Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:R-Square_Logo.png#filelinks
  • AndrewStanton: The Clues to a Great Story (TED Talk)
  • Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story (TED Talk)
  • Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story (TED Talk)Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/brentdpayne/4812887683/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Image Source: Personal Photo
  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/daikrieg/1294053038/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Tom Davenport: Keeping up with the Quants
  • Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/dberry/2871293035/sizes/o/in/photostream/
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  • Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ferrari_California_Dashboard.JPG
  • Jewish Saying
  • Hopi American Indian Proverb?
  • Scott McCloud: The Visual Magic of Comics (TED Talk)Image Source: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/maladjusted/5557439934/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  • Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monet_Water_Lilies_1916.jpg#filelinks
  • Transcript of "MidAIR 2013 Keynote - Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling"

    1. 1. Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling Matthew Hendrickson November 7, 2013
    2. 2. “Begin at the beginning…and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” – Lewis Carroll
    3. 3. Make me care! What is storytelling? Can you be a storyteller? How do you do storytelling?
    4. 4. Make me care! What is storytelling?
    5. 5. Story n. A narrative, commonly untrue. –A. Bierce
    6. 6. Storytelling, relating to a series of events –E. Miller
    7. 7. Storytelling, relating to a series of events –E. Miller
    8. 8. Worldview Value Change Frame Template Shortcuts Story Live Authentic
    9. 9. “Stories are shortcuts we use because we’re too overwhelmed by data to discover all the details.” – S. Godin
    10. 10. “Curiosity is the intellectual need to answer questions and close open patterns. Story plays to this universal desire by doing the opposite, posing questions and opening situations.” – R. McKee
    11. 11. “This is the role that stories play – putting knowledge into a framework that is more lifelike, more true to our day-to-day existence.” – Heath & Heath
    12. 12. Rule # “You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.”
    13. 13. Miller’s Framework • • • • • • Characters Place Time Storyline Sensory Elements Objects • Character’s Gestures/Attitudes • Emotions • Narrator’s POV • Narrator’s Tone • Theme
    14. 14. McKee’s Framework • Character • Development • • Quest/Mission/Desire • • Objectives • Hook/Inciting • Incident • • Problem • Conflict Set-up/Pay-off Pivotal Event/Turning Point Reversals/Twists Subplots Ending
    15. 15. Storytelling Elements • Quest / Hook / Inciting Incident • Conflict • Progressive Complications • • • • • Pivotal Event Twists Set-up Pay-off Ending
    16. 16. “The story will adapt to the environment.” -S. McCloud
    17. 17. Storytelling is an art – not a set formula!
    18. 18. Make me care! Can you be a storyteller?
    19. 19. Memorable & Engaging
    20. 20. Concreteness Credibility Unexpectedness Emotions Sticky Ideas Simplicity Stories
    21. 21. CONVEY THE
    22. 22. Rule # “Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.”
    23. 23. Value ≠ Object
    24. 24. Value ≠ Object = Meaning of the object
    25. 25. “A good analogy is priceless – it helps us understand the new by connecting it to the familiar.” –Z. Gemignani
    26. 26. Data Visualizations Exploration Analysis Presentation
    27. 27. Make me care! How do you do storytelling?
    28. 28. Your presentation is NOT your handout
    29. 29. Nobody cares about your
    30. 30. 2+2=4
    31. 31. 2+2≠4
    32. 32. “Stories are, of course, how numbers talk to people.” -T. Davenport
    33. 33. I have actually made this mistake…
    34. 34. Again…
    35. 35. And again…
    36. 36. And again …
    37. 37. Good, Ba d, Ugly Ugly, Ba d, Good
    38. 38. Ugly
    39. 39. Better
    40. 40. Got it!
    41. 41. Leads Prospects Applicants Admits Enrolls Retained Conferred
    42. 42. “What is truer than true? The Story.” - Jewish Saying
    43. 43. “Those who tell the stories rule the world.” - Hopi American Indian Proverb
    44. 44. We control the scope
    45. 45. Storytelling is an art, not a science… practice to get it right
    46. 46. Thank you Lighting the Path to Action: Realizing the Power of Storytelling Matthew Hendrickson Associate Director – Strategic Enrollment Research Northeastern University – College of Professional Studies m.hendrickson@neu.edu
    47. 47. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • References Bierce, A. (2003). The Devil’s Dictionary. Carroll, L. (1886). Alice in Wonderland. Coats, E. (2012). Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling (via Twitter). http://imgur.com/a/fPLnM Davenport, T.H. & Kim, J. (2013). Keeping up with the Quants. Harvard Business Review. Gemignani, Z. (2012). Data Visualization as Storytelling: A Stretched Analogy. Juice Analytics. http://www.juiceanalytics.com/writing/data-visualization-as-storytelling-a-stretched-analogy/ Gemignani, Z. (2013). Data Storytelling: The Ultimate Collection of Resources. http://www.juiceanalytics.com/writing/the-ultimate-collection-of-data-storytelling-resources/ Godin, S. (2005). All Marketers are Liars. Heath, C. & Heath D. (2007). Made to Stick. Kosara, R. (2013). Paper: Storytelling, The Next Step for Visualization. http://eagereyes.org/papers/paperstorytelling-step-visualization McCloud, S. (2005). The Visual Magic of Comics. TED Talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/scott_mccloud_on_comics.html McKee, R. (1997). Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting. Miller, E. (2011). Theories of Story and Storytelling. http://www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/67.pdf Montague, T. (2013). If You Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story. http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/07/want-toraise-prices-tell-a-be/ Stanton, A. (2012). The Clues to a Great Story. Ted Talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story.html Warshaw, D. (2013). Nate Silver, Data, and Storytelling. http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2013/07/24/nate-silver-data-and-storytelling/
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