A Story Worth Telling: Part 2

What makes a story appealing? Is it the way it’s told? Is it the characters? Is it the voice that grips you? I find it’s the visuals.

Let me a step back and clarify. When I say story, I mean non-fiction. In this case, I’m referring the stories companies share to engage customers with a brand. Storytelling, marketing, comms, whatever you want to call it. I’ve heard these terms thrown around time and time again from companies looking to sell their product or service to a new audience while the tried-and-true methods are grabbing the attention of other consumers in a noisy market. A lightbuld goes off at the top of the organisation! They realise they need to tell a “story” but have no clue how. I don’t blame them.

We’ve heard the talks about Slack’s special sauce, the saddle story, the problem with the ivory tower of design, but what is so great about this story? Why should anyone listen? I stay up at night thinking about this because I feel like there are so many options on how to tell the story now: infographics (dead?), videos (think: Vimeo), charts, wordles, Medium, Powerpoint, Prezi, Exposure. It seems like a new tool is invented everyday, pulling at our heartstrings, to tell your best story. How do we choose? We don’t. We can’t.

I think about it often because I review company pitches on a daily basis, put together reports and proposals quite often, and I engage in public speaking like it’s an extreme sport. I hate putting my name behind reports that don’t visually look any different than the next guy’s. Yet, I’m still struggling in this department. I can’t choose! I want to WOW! And I can’t settle for less than that.

This weekend, I’m participating in Startup Weekend Christchurch. You can look forward to various stories about the event. I will also include stories here about my experience. You’ll hear from other storytellers on my twitter (@meCatarina) and instagram (/catagut11). I’ll be testing a new way of storytelling — short and sweet but visually appealing. The long form will be included here as a wrap-up post.

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