How do you remember your childhood?
As cognitive, conscious humans beings we remember life, every corner of its journey, as a story.
Life happens and remains in the narratives we tell ourselves and each other.
The mind organises life as a story.
The reason story affects life so powerfully is because it provides the answers to the unknown, it provides structure to the chaos, and through doing so, it inspires a call to action.
Our story becomes something we own through how we create it.
Storytelling can inspire positive change; stories change attitudes and behaviours.
The most successful stories in video focus on a single important idea forming an emotional connection in under 30 seconds. When planning your story, choose one behaviour-changing goal that you want your video to achieve and create a story with a hero doing just that.
An interesting angle is to take the typical ‘hero tackles villain to achieve goal’ structure and apply it to the hero defeating the enemy within (in the form of prejudice, racism, intolerance, etc). By enabling viewers to empathise with your protagonist you can encourage behavioral change as they identify with and experience the emotions of the inner battle together.
Video content that involves a transformation and makes you believe in humanity is the kind of storytelling we’re talking about. Content that suggests the powers of good will prevail and that gives hope in the context of great struggle is highly shareable as it makes us feel good.
The key to achieving this is to focus on archetypes, not stereotypes, in your character development. In this way your character will become relatable but not confined, definable in a variety of ways to your audience.
When people feel free to draw their own conclusions they are empowered and inspired.
Inspiring content can also be gritty - and cut at the core of convention, bringing out your audience’s inner rebel.
As a storyteller it’s important to present ideas that have a lasting effect on your audience; to do so, you need to know your audience, what they care about and why they might be drawn to your cause. In this way you can predict what content and which emotions they are most likely to respond to.
If you combine aspects of your story that are universal and aspects that are unique, your audience will firstly be captivated by what they relate to and secondly inspired by what they’ve discovered.
Capitalise on elements of surprise where possible. Inspiring story content must deliver in the same way you dig for treasure; the anticipation heightens the sense of discovery until the treasure is revealed.
Stories are often what gives birth to great ideas and movements, what helps them grow and what keeps them alive long into the future for generations to come.
Never underestimate what can be achieved through the power of story.
I would like to leave you with this short video from the wonderful Jason Silva, where he brings storytelling alive in his own unique way...