Using fictional storytelling techniques in business, part 2

In the wildly successful book Made to Stick, authors Chip and Dan Heath offer an easy outline to remember when trying to make ideas memorable and convincing: SUCCES (simple, unexpected, concrete, credibility, emotion and stories). And there’s a reason they put stories in the acronym’s last spot.This is the second of a three-part guest post by Jason Hensel (read part 1).

“[Stories] naturally embody most of the SUCCES framework,” the two wrote, citing that stories are typically concrete and with emotional and unexpected components. “The hardest part of using stories effectively is making sure they’re simple—that they reflect your core message. It’s not enough to tell a great story; the story has to reflect your agenda.”

Simple and Specific
The best way to help meet your agenda is to keep stories simple.

“Think of it as a three-step process that constitutes the most fundamental elements of storytelling,” Lamb said. “Beginning: Define your goal and ask yourself why reaching this goal is important. Middle: What are the obstacles that stand in the way of success? End: What must be accomplished/achieved/overcome to reach the desired goal? Whether you’re talking about fiction or non-fiction, business or pleasure, these three steps constitute the essence of story. Once you’ve addressed these three issues, you can go about filling in the details essential to making your story memorable.”

Stay tuned for Part 3.

JASON HENSEL is associate editor of One+

photo by Katrina Snaps

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