Monthly Archives: January 2016

Stop Talking about ‘Storytelling’

And start telling stories instead.

What’s the difference?

‘Storytelling’ is a noun. Or an adjective. It’s not something you do.

It’s a word you put up to describe something that is done. Or is simply something that’s done. You can say “This brand uses storytelling”. But you would never say “I will storytell“. That makes no sense.

That; to me, is the key difference.

Instead, you could tell a story. And a story is narrated in a context. It has a protagonist. An antithesis. It has ups and downs, climaxes, crescendoes and pitfalls. Stories impact us because we see a transition of emotions and we relate to that. Not to the occurrence itself, but to how the occurrence is relevant to us:

A tortoise racing a hare is not a story. A protagonist racing his antithesis and winning when nobody expects him to: that’s a story. That’s a story of getting something the world thinks you can’t have. And we all relate to that.

Here’s Kurt Vonnegut’s hilarious story models:

So, how is this relevant to your brand / start-up / company / you?

  1. You are not the protagonist. You are a character, perhaps an agent of change. The fairy god mother, if you’re lucky.
  2. Recognise the point in which you fit in the story of the protagonist. Where are they now?
  3. Become a part of their story, and help them write it. Be relevant to the story. But don’t be the story.

And finally, you might even be a storyteller. If that is the case, then start telling your story. Because when you do, people listen.


Picture Courtesy: jerry8448