Since conducting our first storytelling workshop in 2011, the honing of the material has been a never-ending process.
To this point, we’ve considered the methodology as our intellectual property. It was part of how we differentiated the Agency, an approach to developing content that recognized that given a choice between dull or interesting, human beings will gravitate toward interesting virtually every time (unscientific research showed 37 out of 37 people preferred “Game of Thrones” over CSPAN).
Today, this same methodology is available to everyone in the form of a microsite called The Periodic Table of Business Storytelling that can be found at www.storytelling-techniques.com.
We believe in this concept of storytelling techniques.
We’ve seen it work.
If it can help others create better narratives, that’s a good thing for everyone, including us.
Look, the concept of “storytelling” has been trending in the communications industry for many years. Virtually every communications consultancy touts its storytelling expertise short of saying: “Hey mister, step into our tent and see how storytelling can change your life.”There’s just one not-so-little detail that no one talks about. When it comes to business communications, storytelling by its classic definition — a narrative with a start, an end, and something going horribly awry in between — often can’t be applied. Whether it’s content on a corporate website, a presentation or talking with a journalist, telling story after story doesn’t make for persuasive communications. Plus, inserting failure into narratives isn’t exactly a natural act for companies.
That’s the genesis of The Periodic Table of Business Storytelling and this microsite. By borrowing the same techniques found in storytelling, fiction and nonfiction alike, business communications become more interesting and thus more persuasive.
Equally important, these storytelling techniques offer a repeatable process to improving content development. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway to tease out an anecdote in the copy.
Again, the microsite was designed to serve as an academic and industry resource. Hopefully, universities will link to the site and professors will offer feedback on how to advance the site with their students in mind. One professor has already suggested that we put together course material based on the methodology.
We look forward to your input.