3 steps to a great story
Facts tell, stories sell.
But it’s not enough just to have a great story. To make the most of your best business stories, you also need great storytelling.
Fortunately, great storytelling is as easy as 1-2-3.
Here’s how to turn facts that tell into stories that sell, in this rewrite of one of my favorite corporate stories, a piece about FedEx helping rescue a bear named Ben.
“If you’re advertising fire extinguishers,” wrote David Ogilvy, “open with the flames.”
So don’t start your story with a pat on your own back. (It gets in the way of the story, and unless you’re really flexible, it’s hard.) Instead, jump right into the most provocative details of the story at hand:
Deemed “Attraction No. 2,” Ben was deprived of even the most basic necessities. His world consisted of nothing more than a barren 12-foot-by-22-foot concrete floor and a chain-link fence with an old bowling ball and some moldy stumps of wood. His “caretakers” dumped dry dog food — what passed for his meals — onto the same concrete floor where he urinated and defecated.
Ben spent his waking hours pacing, the result of profound deprivation and a sign of chronic distress.
I know, I know. This is the part you care about most: the part where your organization helped solve the problem. Your readers, however, are more interested in your subject. So make this the quickest part of the piece:
Paint a picture of how great Ben’s life is now:
How can you craft a story to make your messages more engaging?