Top 5 Storytelling Articles ...


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:

Fast Company, Storytelling, number of storytelling mentions by Fast Company, The Hoffman Agency, Business communications, communications, PR, PR storytelling

I think we can conclude that Fast Company increasingly believes storytelling can help fast companies.

Here’s my five favorite Fast Company articles on storytelling from last year:

1. How To Sell A $1 Snow Globe For $59: The Real ROI of Brand Storytelling

I love this article. Rob Walker and Josh Glenn bought a bunch of tchotchkes at flea markets and yard sales with the average price coming in at $1.29. They then created a story for each item, selling them on eBay for $36.12 on average. For the math challenged, that’s a 2,706% increase in value.

2. Powerful Storytelling, Changed Lives: Lessons from Kony

The way Invisible Children has told its story has changed the life trajectory for thousands in Uganda as well as the United States, it’s a great example of how a compelling story moves both hearts and minds. Also appreciated the point that strength of conviction helps push through the tough times.

3. For Brands, 2012 Is The Year Of The Story. So Who’s Telling It Best?

It’s not enough for brands to push out stories. The article explains how leading brands use storytelling to engage their customers. One way involves a twist on thought leadership, curating content with relevance to your audience to build a community. American Express and its Open Forum has been trailblazer with this approach and connecting with small biz.

4. Using Great Storytelling To Grow Your Business

Former McKinsey consultant Kaihan Krippendorf shares a first-person narrative from participating in a storytelling workshop. While the storytelling arc isn’t exactly breakthrough, I did like the idea of “using lots of lots.” This involves using lots of “language of the senses” sharing with the audience what you see, smell, feel, etc.

5. Why Storytelling Is The Ultimate Weapon

Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, offers this essay that tackles the how and why of storytelling. Trying to persuade with facts and figures only causes people to read with their dukes up. On the other hand, being absorbed in a story results in the dropping of our intellectual guard.

I welcome additions to the list if there’s another Fast Company story that stands out in your mind.


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