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Storytelling 101

Great stories have protagonists and antagonists – positive forces vs. negative ones.  Together, they represent the makings of great reading because when the two forces collide, they create interest among readers and viewers. For example, an antagonist might be the water in Flint having elevated lead; the protagonist might be a foundation that donates millions of dollar to alleviate the risk of drinking the water. At a softer level, an antagonist might be a noisy car; the protagonist could be an automaker that designs a quieter vehicle.shutterstock_397199014 (1)

Get it?

But that’s not all. Great stories  need to have people with developed personalities who are also part of the solution or even part of  the problem.

At MCCI, we love telling our clients’ stories – but make no mistake: our clients are almost always protagonists  – helping to affect the world around them in positive ways.

Here are a few easy tips on how to effectively tell your own stories:                                                                                                                                                                              

  1. Know your audience. A story that is interesting to an engineer at an automotive company is not necessarily going to be appealing to someone who works in retail. You need to connect the dots between the engineer’s passion and the consumer’s natural interests. Intertwining the right information to appeal to the right people is essential.
  2. Make it short and sweet. Today, really good stories are short because the human attention span is much smaller.  Plus, the more you visualize with photos, videos and graphics, the more engaging it is going to be to the audience. Try this exercise when storytelling: fit the big idea into 140 characters or less, ala Twitter. Then you can expand it from there!
  3. Find the authentic heart of the story. Never forget that every kind of success has some sort of a people-centered protagonist/antagonist story behind it. Always ask yourself this question: “Why should my intended audience care?”. If you are willing to quickly get to the authentic heart of the matter, you’ll will have a good or even great story. As we in the industry say, find the “nugget,” the special message, and run with it!

Is your company or organization looking to have its story told? Contact us today!


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