Make Me Care: The Power of Storytelling

Writer’s block is going to happen to you. How do I know? I know this because it’s only 10 a.m., and I’ve had it three times this morning. Finding the right words and creating a communication masterpiece is no easy feat.

One remedy I use to cure this is by learning tips and tricks from the experts. My favorite example of this is a TED Talk is by filmmaker Andrew Stanton. In his 20-minute talk “The Clues to a Great Story,” Stanton discusses the elements of what makes a story matter. Stanton reflects on the success of his films and the correlation with effective storytelling.

Although Stanton’s speech was focused on cinema, this knowledge can and has been implemented in countless success stories at Flint Group. Stories that capture the reader’s attention are essential in bolstering the reach of our clients. And the concepts for these clients all started somewhere, often with the writer’s block that everyone experiences. With that, here are a few tidbits from Stanton that you should implement to drive your next messaging tactics. On top of that, I’ve also included a few tips of my own to help drive your story.

Know your Punchline

Keep in mind what your end goal is. Know that everything you’re saying from the first sentence to the last is leading to a singular goal. When building a relationship with your client, you have to develop what that end goal is. Whether that might be to build relationships, increase sales, or gain a larger following. The end goal will help arise tangible steps.

Make them Care

Everyone knows what it’s like to not care. Scrolling through a social media feed and seeing one dull post after another. Once you find the right messaging goals for your audience, find the best way to tell that story. As Stanton says so well, effective storytelling is not by chance, rather by design.

Unifying theory of 2+2

Don’t spoon feed the audience. Give them the initial information but make them work for the rest. Consumers want to be provoked into acting. Make them work to find the next step in the messaging. There are a few ways this can be accomplished,

  1. Links
  2. Graphics
  3. Hashtags
  4. Calls to action

Steal with Your Own Twist

I’ve come to learn that many of my own ideas I’ve found favorable for storytelling were versions of another person’s art. I’ve been inspired by many artists who have formed me into the creator that I am. Use your inspirations and their ideas to craft a creative pitch. Don’t take their idea, rather receive inspiration from it and provide your own twist.

Shake Off the Dry Spell

As I said before, writer’s block is going to happen to you. How do you get rid of this? Personally, I’ve found a few ways to cope with the rut of incomplete ideas-

  1. Going for a run
  2. Taking a music break
  3. Heading to the drive-thru for some fast-food

They’re many different ways you can help shake off a slow day of writing. You just have to find which ones work for you.

Reflect on it All

Lastly, you need to take a step back and look over the whole process. What worked in the story, and what didn’t? What did audiences love, and what did they ignore? Reflection allows for new ideas to be generated and bad ones to be left out the next time.

There is an infinite amount of creative ways you can capture someone’s attention. Remember, communication is not an exact science. As Stanton says, the messaging is inevitable, but the result is not predictable. Though, if you tell an engaging story, your chances of engagement will increase.

Listen in on more inspiration from Stanton’s full TED Talk-

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