Last May I got to hear Donald Miller speak. First, he talked about how the brain works and that humans are constantly scanning for information to help them SURVIVE AND THRIVE. They are listening for things that will help them “survive” better. The information needs to be worth their energy to even think about. It needs to be simple, short and memorable. Lastly, he talked about how all communication, especially business and organizational messages are better understood when they follow the “secret” outline of movies, which is really a STORY. There is this very simple outline that any message, when followed, is better heard, digested and acted upon. The outline is largely this:
1) Story CHARACTER …. that you can relate to and want to be, the character has something they want
2) PROBLEM…. something that is wrong, something that needs to be solved, often physical/external, internal or philosophical (what is my client’s problem that they want
3) Character meets a GUIDE… a person to help them solve the problem. Note, the guide is NOT the superhero, the character is. Often business make the mistake of wanting to be the hero and that goes against the flow of the story. He used a quote “hurting people think about themselves; strong people think about others.”
4) PLAN… the guide gives them a simple and easy to follow plan that solves their problem. Notice all the 1-2-3 step by step marketing and signs in the world right now? They are helping the CHARACTER easily find their solution. You might notice this even in ordering food – order – pay – pick up.
5) CALL TO ACTION… a very clear call to action and why this is important now. It is not passive or sugar coated. It is standing in
6) RESULTS… share the success that others are experiencing when following this path and opting for this solution
7) FAILURE… what will happen if you don’t follow this path and the peril that others experience when waiting or opting for other solutions. Be confident in what you have to offer and why it is truly a benefit and value for the character. Note: this is a short clip, don’t go on and on or you will fall into creating threats and doomsday, which people do not like. It makes them feel guilt-ed into action and that is not the motivation we are going for. We want them to act because they are clearly convicted that this solution connect emotionally with their WHY.
His book, Building a Story Brand, is a “heavy” listen if you are listening to apply it to your business or organization. A book like this is one I would have the audio and print copy to mark up and make comments in. He asks a lot of great questions to help you reflect on your brand and develop your story. While creating the STORY seems simple and straight forward it is a challenge to do it well. Taking the SEVEN steps of creating the story is a great practice whether working on a social media post, new promotion, new product or the brand and pitch for your organization. Keep practicing the elements and you will evolve your skill in STORYTELLING to better connect and support the people you want to reach!