Storytelling in the modern era
With shortened attention spans and so many competing mediums, one would think storytelling would be a dying medium, but it’s not. In fact, it has become more important than ever, and for professionals who can nail telling a good story through words or images, memories can be set in stone and impressions can be made that otherwise wouldn’t be.
According to author Christopher Booker in The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, all great stories boil down to seven main plots, so when telling your story, consider which plot line it best fits:
- Overcoming the monster
- Rags to riches
- Voyage and return
Implementing plot lines in your business
Whether speaking on stage, blogging, or creating a presentation, remember that great stories can be categorized in a timeless way, and approaching them from the perspective of it literally being a story can be tremendously helpful. Rather than spout out the “we were established in 1992, expanded into Florida in 1993, and by 1999, were in all 50 states, the end” about page on your website, tell a story. Instead of stand on stage and list awards and accomplishments, talk about how your company almost crumbled and you took out a second mortgage on your home to keep your employees’ paychecks coming.
Stories are memorable, and they touch a very innate part of any human being – why do you think Hollywood rakes in billions? It is easy to be boring, it is easy to be dry, but it is the more difficult path to tell a story.
Digging deeper into storytelling
The 7 main plot lines can be broken down even further, as seen in the presentation below. When telling your story, writing a blog, or addressing a crowd, consider which category your tale fits into and if you can define that tale as great storytellers have throughout history: