Story telling in steps


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  • If the building your company is housed in burns down – that is a news story. How people feel about your building burning down is a feature story.The following are 11 easy steps to developing a story which will help you to put a human face on your issue, product, corporation. These stories can be used in many formats including:Speeches, written feature stories, web pages, newsletters, sales pitches and many more. Organizations that get used to packaging their messages in stories are usually very successful in winning audiences to their sides.Placements: smaller newspapers and magazines, weekly and monthly publications (because it is not hard hitting/time sensitive news), newsletters, brochures, use as a background for informing the mediaCan also be used to help pitch an interview/story idea to a Sunday morning TV or radio talk show
  • These are six categories of story ideas:Challenge – good to use when you are number 2 or coming out of a crisisStarted – great to use for anniversaries or when milestones are metStrive to improve – good to demonstrate concern for environment or community or coming out of a crisisEmblematic success – something symbolic – good to use when an award receivedPerformance stories – can be used to promote milestones, new products, employeesWhere we are going –can be used for year end reports or piggy backing on a new trend
  • (Whom will the audience follow or identify with through the narrative? Remember, organizations and corporations cannot be protagonists!)
  • Remember goals need to be measureable and doable
  • (What are the internal or external barriers?)(What happens as the protagonist encounters barriers, and if there are no barriers, what is keeping the narrative interesting for the audience?)
  • (What happens or changes in that moment, and what does it show us about the human condition?)(Does your protagonist achieve his/her/their goal or is there another out come?)
  • (Is it emblematic/symbolic/representative of your mission and the culture of your organization? Does it show what a single program/product does? Does it explain why your organization does what it does? In short, what should the audience see when you “widen the lens”?( Who do you want to talk to? Are they potential employers or employees, existing customers, new markets, Legislators/Regulators, Internal audience, or some combination of these? Take another look at your language to make sure it’s appropriate for this audience.)
  • Story telling in steps

    1. 1. In 11 easy steps<br />Developing your Feature story<br />
    2. 2. The “Nature of our Challenge” Story<br />The “How We Started” Story<br />The “Striving-to- Improve” Story<br />The “Emblematic Success” Stories<br />The “Performance” Stories<br />The “Where We Are Going” Story<br />
    3. 3. Who is the protagonist of your story?<br />Step 1<br />
    4. 4. Steps 2 - 4 <br />What does the audience need to know about the protagonist and his/her/their situation to understand the “world in balance” as the story opens?<br />What is the “inciting incident” that upsets this balance in some way?<br />What is the protagonist’s goal?<br />
    5. 5. Steps 5 - 6<br />What stands in the protagonist’s way? <br />How does your protagonist pursue the goal? <br />
    6. 6. Steps 7 - 9<br />What is the moment of truth in this story? <br />What is the resolution of the story?<br />What’s the meaning of the story? What do you want the audience to take away?<br />
    7. 7. Steps 10 and 11<br />How does this story relate to your organization’s work? <br />What audience would you want to tell this story to? <br />
    8. 8. Checklist<br />Is your story clearly and concisely written?<br />Is the language descriptive, evocative, colorful and creative?<br />Is it easy for your audience to understand?<br />Do you have a fact-checking system to ensure that all your information is accurate? <br />Is your story 800 words or fewer?<br />
    9. 9. Checklist<br />Does your story have a clearly defined beginning?<br />Does the beginning include an angle or a hook that will paint a picture of a world the reader can enter into and identify with?<br />Does your story have a clearly defined goal?<br />Are characters such as heroes and villains present?<br />Does it contain compelling conflict, obstacles or twists and turns? <br />
    10. 10. Checklist<br />Does your story provide the reader with an emotional experience?<br />Did you identify the happy ending that the audience can help you reach?<br />Will your story make audience members feel like they play a pivotal role in the story?<br />Did you remember to include at least one memorable fact or statistic but only one?<br />Did you have someone else read your story to check for errors, clarity and the effectiveness of your story?<br />