Join Roger S.H. Schulman for an in-depth discussion in this video The story of story, part of Storytelling for Business Video.
- So far, I've used the word story about 22 times, but what do I really mean by that word? You already have an innate sense of story. You were born with it. It's easy to recognize a story when you see one, or hear one, or read one. But just because you know a cupcake when you taste it doesn't automatically mean you know how to bake one. You need a recipe. First, let's carefully define our term. When I say story, I'm talking about a series of events. And not just any series. To be a bonafide story, your series of events must have four essential components.
Let's take a look at each one. First, these events must be connected. Generally this means the same main characters appear in each event, but it doesn't have to mean that. The events can be connected by a similar activity, or a similar location, or connected by the same theme. The Wizard of Oz takes place in many locations, but all the events are connected by Dorothy. Traffic, a movie directed by Steven Soderbergh, connects its events not by character, but by activity. The popular TV series Modern Family connects its events by family relationship.
Make your connection however you wish, but make it. Your series of events must also contain characters. You may say that's obvious, but what actually makes a character isn't so obvious. Don't worry, we'll get into that later. Next, your story must have tension. There must be a feeling of stress, of something unresolved. Generally, this stress will be felt by your main character, although it doesn't have to be. But a story without any stress isn't a story at all. It's just boring.
And it's the relief of that stress that binds you and your very important message to your viewer. Here is an example. Many years ago there was a TV commercial for a bath soap that featured a woman bathing in billowing suds. It was pretty, but it may not have sold a single box if it weren't for the first five seconds of the ad in which the woman cried, "The traffic, the bus, the baby, "the dog, take me away." Then the woman got in the tub. So she didn't just get clean using the product, she got tension-free.
And the commercial sold a lot of soap. The last component of the series of events we call story is so important I've devoted a whole movie to it. You could call it the next event in my story and it's called conflict.
In Storytelling for Business Video, Roger S.H. Schulman shows the tools and techniques authors and screenwriters can use to make any business video clearer, more compelling, and more persuasive. These tips work equally well whether you're trying to sell a product or service or to simply establish brand awareness.
Roger examines the specific steps it takes to build an entertaining and memorable story, first looking at the various intersections between creative storytelling and marketing. Learn how to find the heroes (and maybe even the villains) of your story and use the three-act structure of Hollywood films to communicate the message of your business in a compelling way. Along the way, Roger builds a video script for a fictitious company step-by-step, and shows how storytelling techniques make the final script better in every way.
- Defining your story
- Finding your business story
- Understanding your audience
- Drawing the dramatic arc for your story
- Discovering the moral of your story
- Authoring the "hero" of your business story
- Finding conflict and resolution
- Outlining and drafting the script for your video