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What is the best structure for telling your story?

Four ideas for great storytelling from Michael Margolis, Nancy Duarte, Gareth Kay & Simon Sinek:

As you begin to craft your story ask what action do I want my audience to take and what realization do they need to have in order to take that action?

Employ the power of paradox. If you start with the dream of what’s possible — and invite people along on the journey, suddenly your story comes alive with potential and excitement. And you’ve started a collaborative movement towards the solution. By turning the problem into a paradox, you turn your story into a mystery that people want to help solve. People will feel excited about exploring and finding the answers with you, versus feeling depressed by the subtle self-righteous pressure of a story that draws on the audience’s fears.

Storytelling is like sailing; “when you capture the resistance coming against you, you actually sail faster than the wind, it’s a physics phenomenon. When you are developing a story to change the world you should express the resistance between “the way the world currently exists” and “your vision for how the world should be” to employ a structure that will motivate and move your audience.”

Design gaps to allow for participation. This means creating communication that is less finite and complete. Building gaps allows for, and encourages, participation. And when it comes to communications, it’s not about shouting, but about inviting your audience into a story. It also means something more fundamental: Thinking about how you can create value through being more invisible and frictionless, rather than shouting for attention. When you think about things you engage with and love, whether it’s a piece of technology or even the service in a restaurant, the best ones are the ones that get out of the way. They are not obtrusive — the more invisible, the more powerful. When telling a story we have to start thinking about how to do stuff for people that gets out of the way and is more for them than about us.

Lead with WHY you do what you do (not what you do.) Express what you believe because this is how you make your message resonate with people who have similar passions and aspirations. It is your path to making an emotional connection with your audience. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

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