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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Guest Post: The Art & Science of Story

By Kevin Dugan
Romulusremus2Story telling has made me a better communicator. It’s even driven my latest impulse purchase.

Even the discovery of the Romulus and Remus Grotto provides a timely example of the power of story.

Rome was founded by Romulus. He, along with his twin brother Remus, was nursed by a wolf (Oy, Freud would have a field day). This story has evolved into a far-reaching, Roman icon. As an example, I submit this picture taken recently in the hills of Cincinnati, Ohio.

In A Whole New Mind, author Dan Pink reminds us of the importance of story to underscore the rise of right-brain skills in the workforce. Fast Company has explored story telling in business for years. But it was this book that sparked my renewed obsession with story.

Whether you're left brain or right brain, here are some links to inspire your story.

Stories Persuade: The Elements of Persuasion defines a story as “a fact wrapped in an emotion that compels us to take an action that transforms our world.” The book uses this basic definition to show how stories can persuade your audience.

Stories (Don’t) Write Themselves: Story telling doesn’t require the use of words. But the better your writing skills, the easier it is to craft an effective story. Writing more frequently helps improve your chops, writing less makes your work more efficient and effective.

Stories Show: From the increasing popularity of comic books to photo sharing sites like Flickr and the slick tools created to wade through them all, a picture really is worth 1K in words.

I’m told that while Flickr boasts 2 billion images served, Facebook serves up 4 billion? Anyone that can confirm or deny this, please comment below. But this reinforces that visuals are easier to create than ever and they are critical to the future of written communication.

Stories Make a (Power) Point: Is PowerPoint an Intel conspiracy to encourage computer upgrades? Maybe not, but SlideShare reminds us of Powerpoint’s value and Russell Davies tells us how to make your next set of slides bearable.

These are just the tip of a Google search. What’s your story?

Dugan is author of Strategic Public Relations and The Bad Pitch Blog. By day he is Director of Marketing Communications at FRCH Design Worldwide.

Romulus and Remus uploaded by prblog
tags | public relations | PR | Romulus and Remus | marketing | | Flickr

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Comments

This is an awesome slidecast about 50 ways to tell a story: http://www.slideshare.net/cogdog/50-web-20-ways-to-tell-a-story

Interesting topic.

It has been my sole task for the past 5 years, to figure out a way to tell a story about advanced technologies, the future, and specifically cheap, reliable, and safe access to space. The most effective method I have found, is to make the story "personal" to the audience, to intimately involve the people I am speaking to, with the idea I am trying to convey. I have only recently started writing (usually I am a talking storyteller, the old fashioned kind), but I found a book that helped me - a lot - "writing to change the world" by Mary Pipher. I hope this helps you too. http://www.marypipher.net/wtctw.html

Take care. mjl

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