That bird – he sings.
He doesn’t stop to ask if he is good enough.
He doesn’t stop to ask which song would be best.
He doesn’t practise first.
And the song is just exactly how it is meant to be.
you ask if you are good enough to live it or to tell it
you ask how it should be lived or told
you practise living or telling
What is your message then – if you tell your own story?
What would your life be if you lived your own story?
Your story matters in its own pure reality. Sing it!
So that the message is pure, so that the life is your own.
Then you can polish so it is good enough.
Then you can choose the parts of most value.
Then you can practice.
But only then!!
Behind your business story your personal story, your leadership story, there is a bigger story.
Whenever we tell a story – in a speech, online, as a leader, as a motivator, we drop the energy, but increase impact.
If we do it well, we have our readers, audience, teams in the storytelling trance, in our story with us, following our lead. Their brains and heart rates drop and they relax both their physiology and their resistance.
Nevertheless there is powerful impact happening with that storytelling, points communicated, minds moving towards change and messages embedded.
What we do after that can break the spell and undermine the success of our message or it can support it, build on it and add even more power.
Take your audience|readers|team out of the story trance and shift the energy and the brain patterns by introducing some left brain, rational support for the point you are making.
Tell the bigger story.
Why is this relevant to the times?
Why is this relevant to the industry you all inhabit?
Why is this relevant to your part of the world or your culture?
You are bringing yourself and your audience back into why this experience you have created with the story, and the message that is embedded behind it, is so very relevant and important to them on a much larger scale than their personal needs or wants.
They feel swept along in a movement far greater than themselves.
Then you can take them further along in the flow of your message.
Tell me a story and
I will relate to your hero,
be your hero,
learn from your hero’s journey.
If the learning is irrelevant and I cannot continue to relate,
the story is lost,
Make me, (and I am
and my problems the prototype for your hero
whether that hero be a raccoon, a robot or a real person,
and I will relate,
I will follow you through the story and to the inspiration, persuasion, learning that you want for me.
Trying to get your message heard? Build an iconic brand?
Welcome to the battlefield. The story wars are all around us. They are the struggle to be heard in a world of media noise and clamor. Today, most brand messages and mass appeals for causes are drowned out before they even reach us. But a few consistently break through the din, using the only tool that has ever moved minds and changed behavior–great stories.
With insights from mythology, advertising history, evolutionary biology, and psychology, viral storyteller and advertising expert Jonah Sachs takes readers into a fascinating world of seemingly insurmountable challenges and enormous opportunity.
You’ll discover how:
* Social media tools are driving a return to the oral tradition, in which stories that matter rise above the fray
* Marketers have become today’s mythmakers, providing society with explanation, meaning, and ritual
* Memorable stories based on timeless themes build legions of eager evangelists
* Marketers and audiences can work together to create deeper meaning and stronger partnerships in building a better world
* Brands like Old Spice, The Story of Stuff, Nike, the Tea Party, and Occupy Wall Street created and sustained massive viral buzz
Winning the Story Wars is a call to arms for business communicators to cast aside broken traditions and join a revolution to build the iconic brands of the future.
It puts marketers in the role of heroes with a chance to transform not just their craft but the enterprises they represent. After all, success in the story wars doesn’t come just from telling great stories, but from learning to live them.
Globally recognized storyteller, designer, and entrepreneur Sachs argues that only those brands that tell “values-driven stories” through the “right” channels will revolutionize marketing and may become humanity’s greatest hope for the future.
About the Author: Jonah Sachs. As the cofounder and CEO of Free Range Studios, Sachs has helped hundreds of major brands and causes break through the media noise with unforgettable campaigns. His work on renowned viral videos including The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff have brought key social issues to the attention of more than sixty-five million people online. A constant innovator, his studio’s websites and stories have taken top honors three times at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Sachs’s work and opinions have been featured in a variety of media, including the New York Times, NPR, and Fast Company magazine, which named him one of its fifty most influential social innovators. About the Illustrator: Drew Beam Drew Beam is the Innovation Director at Free Range Studios, where he helps clients see the future and leap into it. After earning his BFA at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Beam built a successful career creating visuals and innovation strategies for dozens of Fortune 500 companies. His illustrations have been published by Time Warner Books, Penguin Books, and Rolling Stone magazine, to name just a few.
“Story Wars is a thorough guide for the novice or even practiced storytellers in all of us. Sachs offers story structures, ways of thinking about characters and messages. He pulls artfully from recent brand successes from companies including Nike and Apple. And he tells a few good stories along the way.” — Forbes
“Sachs is full of ideas and strategies to help readers give their brands the rare, compelling story that will raise their message above the melee of advertising noise… the ideas are powerful and solid, and will make inspiring reading for marketing professionals looking to set their stories apart.” — Publishers Weekly
“In this timely, practical, perceptive, and thought-provoking book, Sachs (CEO, Free Range Studios) does a remarkable job trumpeting storytelling as a means by which people can effectively influence others.” — CHOICE
“The book is an interesting blend of marketing and advertising history, mythology, and psychology that pulled me in and kept me turning the pages… the eye-catching illustrations of Drew Beam. Beam’s artwork combined with Sachs’s writing style kept me glued to the pages… this one has earned a place on my bookshelf and a noteworthy position on my leadership development reading list.” — T+D magazine, American Society for Training & Development
“This fast-paced entertaining book takes on storytelling from the POV of a 24/7 information culture and shares the strategies and tactics that fuel today’s most compelling content.” — Ketchum PR, On the Bookshelf: New Year Reads
“Sachs offers a step-by-step guide to corporate storytelling, showing how brands can use recognisable characters, such as “freaks, cheats and familiars” to create instantly relatable campaigns…Marketers who are able to define the core values of a brand then use them to engage the target audience in a compelling, relatable story are the ones who will thrive in the new media landscape of the “digitoral” age.” — Warc
“His investigation also unveiled a process to help others create winning stories that he shares with great depth and charm in this book.” — 800 CEO READ
“To influence this brave new world, first convince the global media marketplace of your story. The better the story, the better chance of making people think differently.” — Quantas magazine
“In the often superficial, deceptive world of marketing and advertising, social innovator Jonah Sachs is an individual with a conscience…Sachs’s engaging work is a call to arms for anyone who works to influence consumer choices.” — getAbstract
ADVANCE PRAISE for Winning the Story Wars: Dan Heath, coauthor, Switch and Made to Stick– “Jonah Sachs knows stories. He’s responsible for some of the most popular and respected viral messages of all time: The Story of Stuff, The Meatrix, Grocery Store Wars, and others. This book is a storytelling call to arms, an appeal to tell the stories that matter. So read Winning the Story Wars–and join the fray.”
Nick Coe, CEO, Bath & Body Works; former President, Land’s End– “History is written by the winners. And as Jonah Sachs makes abundantly clear, it is now being written by the marketers, the new mythmakers of our time. Whatever your product or your cause, if you want it to succeed, read this wise and enlightening book.”
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International– “Winning the Story Wars will convince you that storytelling is the most powerful way to move people to action. And it will teach you to use that power to orient our world to a more positive future. If you’re ready to be a great storyteller, read this book.”
Deepak Chopra, founder, The Chopra Foundation– “Great leaders transform the world through stories that inspire hope, stability, trust, compassion, and authenticity. This important and thought-provoking book shows that leadership in marketing will require the living and telling of such stories as well.”
Bill Bradley, former US Senator; Managing Director, Allen & Company– “We know about who we are both individually and as a society through stories. In this brilliant book, Jonah Sachs tells us how we lost our storytelling capacity and how we must regain it, constructing our own myths and living the truth of the stories we tell.”
Paul Hawken, author, The Ecology of Commerce and Blessed Unrest– “In the current maelstrom of media babble and corporate deceit, Jonah Sachs makes sense where none appears to exist. Winning the Story Wars explains why we respond to lies–whether in political or product ads, campaigns or speeches–and how truth ultimately trumps all. This remarkable book delivers on that rare promise of changing how you see the world.”
Me? I am getting so many ah-has I have to stop reading to absorb them all!!
Stories are a subtly powerful way to support your speaking outcomes.
You can use them to support the points you want to make, but you can also use them to position yourself in the eyes of your audience.
When you speak you need to be seen as an expert, though an approachable expert, and the audience needs to understand you and your why.
They need to know why they should listen to you and why they should do what you expect from them at the conclusion of your speech.
You also have an opportunity to establish yourself and your brand in their memories, through the power of storytelling.
Here are 4 specific ways you can use storytelling to build your brand… Read the article at my public speaking blog
And who are you to deny it?
Because that is the power of story.
It can cleanse.
It can heal.
It can lead its listeners and readers to a new way of living – a new story for themselves.
It can inspire.
You can do that because you are a storyteller, we are all storytellers and you have a story to tell, as do we all.
Which one will you tell,
and to whom
Those are the only questions you need to ask.
Those who tell the stories.
It’s a powerful statement this.
There’s a mystical, mythical element to it, being a native American saying.
I find it interesting that Plato said much the same thing “Those who tell the stories rule society.”
Two such disparate cultures and societies recognising the power of story.
Just about anyone who writes about story, talks about story, ends up using this quote.
And certainly at the level at which most people think about this statement … anyone who tells the stories will make money in business, and rule the world that way.
Story is a currency recognised the world over.
It is a powerful marketing tool, the difference, sometimes, between a profit and a loss.
But looking at it a different way – looking at the leaders, the rulers, those who rule the world.
They lead, they rule because they are able to tell our stories for us.
We need a story to make sense of life.
We need a story to make sense of our culture.
We need a story to make sense of our world.
We need someone to lead us forward by telling our story, what is really happening, how things are going to be.
When there is a movement for change in our culture, a mass discontent with the way things are, in our world, it will succeed because someone is able to lead it forward by articulating for that mass of people, what is really happening and how it will progress, tells the story about it.
What story are your leaders telling?
Let us choose the leaders who tell the story of our highest aspirations, not our lowest common denominators of fear and greed, ego and power.
Let us then buy from the marketers who tell the story of our highest aspirations, not our lowest common denominators of laziness and competitiveness.
Futurist Rolf Jensen said “The highest paid person of the 21st century will be the storyteller.”
Let’s choose whom we pay to tell our stories, and choose well.
Every day you put yourself on the line as a leader.
Every day you feel the weight of responsibility.
Every day you need your team contributing to the organisation.
Of course you do.
You don’t, you can’t, protect yourself at the expense of others.
You don’t, you can’t, pass off the responsibility and, worse yet, blame someone else.
You don’t, you can’t, bully your team into working.
Because it’s so much easier and more effective with story.
1. After all it’s free and it’s quick. Think about the bottom line in this.
You don’t have to pay a consultant/trainer/motivator to come in to explain the organisation culture,
to motivate your team,
to train in how best to get the job done,
to communicate the bad news,
to establish your credibility.
2. You have a powerful persuasive tool, that guarantees instant engagement.
You don’t have to use bullying.
You don’t have to pull rank.
You don’t have to have enforced motivational days that your team recognise for what they are – a day to relax and ignore.
3. You don’t have to keep repeating yourself. Your messages become memorable.
The basics of your organisational culture are retained.
The training is remembered.
The motivation is embedded.
The engagement ensured that.
The story structure ensured that.
The stories you chose ensured that.
4. You can be real
even vulnerable … within limits.
Real, natural, authentic, vulnerable (within limits) makes you more likable, more respected, more believable, more credible, more persuasive
and it’s easier,
especially if bullying and/or pulling rank and/or using endless theory and statistics are not your natural bent.
5. Your team, your customers, your prospects can make sense of your organisation.
They will know automatically what your culture is like,
what your brand really stands for,
what it is like to do business/work with/rely on you.
They will know your why.
All without sleazy or incomprehensible marketing.
And they will know it at a very deep level.
If you are a leader, Your story matters.
“Every great leader is a great storyteller,” says Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner.
According to master storytellers Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman, storytelling is a lot like running. Everyone knows how to do it, but few of us ever break the four-minute mile. What separates the great runners from the rest? The greats know not only how to hit every stride, but how every muscle fits together in that stride so that no effort is wasted and their goals are achieved. World-class runners know how to run from the inside out. World-class leaders know how to tell a story from the inside out.
In The Elements of Persuasion, Maxwell and Dickman teach you how to tell stories too. They show you how storytelling relates to every industry and how anyone can benefit from its power.
Maxwell and Dickman use their experiences—both in the entertainment industry and as corporate consultants—to deliver a formula for winning stories. All successful stories have five basic components: the passion with which the story is told, a hero who leads us through the story and allows us to see it through his or her eyes, an antagonist or obstacle that the hero must overcome, a moment of awareness that allows the hero to prevail, and the transformation in the hero and in the world that naturally results.
Let’s face it: leading is a lot more fun than following. Even if you never want to be a CEO or to change the world, you do want to have control over your own work and your own ideas. Ultimately, that is what the power of storytelling can give you.