Category: Storytelling Theory


Storytelling Alone Won’t Advance Business Communications

I conducted a storytelling workshop last week. Yes, the objective for the session was to help this corporate PR team apply the concepts of storytelling in business communications. But I’m hoping for something bigger. I’m hoping for two interrelated actions: They question the status quo. They experiment in their day-to-day jobs. The Holmes Report has …more

Applying Concepts of Reality TV to Business Communications

Here’s a quandary for communicators. Your CEO has been incognito to the media for 26 years. Rather than charge forward into the mainstream media, he prefers a gentle re-entry. This is not the time to pitch Morley Safer. Huawei’s communications team faced this very situation. Its CEO, Ren Zhengfei, was ready to meet with the …more

PR’s Answer to the Classic Storytelling Arc

  Virtually every novel reflects some form of the classic storytelling arc. Same goes for movies. As I’m driving to see “Zero Dark Thirty,” I’m wondering how the heck will the movie build drama. I already know how the story ends. Yet, the CIA operative played by Jessica Chastain must deal with stuff going cockeyed …more

The Corporate Speak vs. #Storytelling Debate

Dare I say, storytelling has become downright trendy in business communications. “Narrative” has officially entered the PR vernacular. Yet, just because words like “protagonist,” “story arc” and yes, “narrative,” get bandied about doesn’t guarantee storytelling has displaced corporate speak. The SlideShare deck, “The Return of Storytelling vs. Corporate Speak,” shares some of the science and …more

Top 5 Storytelling Articles from @FastCompany

As yet another indication that storytelling is the new black, it’s become a go-to topic for a range of publications. Fast Company provides a good Exhibit A. It’s not exactly science, but the number of mentions of “storytelling” in the publication over the past three years is still revealing: I think we can conclude that …more

Three Terrific Articles on the Science Behind Storytelling Techniques

I’m always on the lookout for information that explains the science behind why storytelling resonates. The article in Lifehacker, “Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains” by Leo Widrich does exactly that. And you don’t need to be cognitive neurologist to understand it. Here’s the thrust: “If we listen …more

10 Tips on Storytelling Techniques from Novelists.

Business communicators can learn from novelists and their storytelling techniques. I’ve always been partial to the Kurt Vonnegut advice: “Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” It’s never easy for a …more