The Life (and Death?) of STORYTELLING: Ten top posts of 2010
Once upon a time… storytelling was the domain of kindergarten classrooms and creative writing courses. Over the past decade it’s found its way into advertising, marketing and business consulting, and countless articles on all of the above.
Stories inspire and connect us. From ancient cave paintings to Super Bowl commercials to transmedia storytelling, they illustrate, resonate and—when done well—stick with us for a long time.
Here are some of my top picks on the topic. Instead of synthesizing what’s already been written so well, I’ll let these speak for themselves.
In a conversation with HBR, Robert McKee, the world’s best-known screenwriting lecturer, argues that executives can engage people in a much deeper—and ultimately more convincing—way if they toss out their PowerPoint slides and memos and learn to tell good stories.
2. Copyblogger: How to Captivate Your Audience with Story (From America’s Greatest Living Playwright)
There’s been a fevered interest in the art of storytelling among the marketing crowd recently. We are told that story—applied to salesmanship, preaching, advertising, conversation, marketing, songwriting, and blogging—contains the power to deliver the world to the deft storyteller’s door. But what is a well-told story? Take a lesson from David Mamet.
Stories are how we learn best. We absorb numbers and facts and details, but we keep them all glued into our heads with stories.
Our information…has become watered down, cloned, and is churned out quickly in 140-character blurbs. We’ve lost that personal touch where we find an emotional connection that makes us care. Using storytelling, however, we can pull these fragments together into a common thread. We can connect as real people, not just computers.
Nine wise tips, plus #10: Remember that if you don’t tell your story, your story will probably get told for you—in a way that may damage your business.
The idea of storytelling as it applies to business isn’t about spinning a yarn or fairytale. Rather, it’s about how your business exists in the real world: how people use your products—how they add value to people’s lives, ease their troubles, help shoulder their burdens, and meet their needs.
The ultimate mashup of ancient traditions and new communications models.
Fast Company founder Alan Webber says storytelling is overrated and declares, “Content isn’t king, context is king!”