Storytelling micro tip #3: The action hero

14th October, 2021

Storytelling micro tip #3: The action hero

You’re surrounded.

 

Hulking baddies in balaclavas raise their rifles to their shoulders.

 

The bulletproof glass on your Aston Martin will only withstand so much pressure.

 

They start to shoot…Thud…Thud…Thud…

 

Spidery cracks in the glass start to appear…

 

What do you do?

 

———-

 

So if you’ve seen the latest Bond film, you’ll know that this is one of the most exciting scenes (I won’t give you any more spoilers but I loved it).

 

And movies are a brilliant for storytelling inspiration in business. Here’s how.

 

Storytelling Microtip No: 3: The Action Hero

 

If you want your reader to really engage with what you’re saying or writing, put them right at the centre of the action.

 

Make them the hero (or antihero).

 

For example, you could start your presentation with something dull and generic like: ‘Hybrid working is the biggest challenge affecting most businesses today.’

 

But it’s so much better when you put your reader right in the thick of it:

 

‘You’re in the rock/hard place of trying to placate staff who’d rather resign than catch the 7.06 into London again, and at the same time pleasing those desperate to see a real live human being again.’

 

(Note the use of the word ‘you’.)

 

Another example: you could start your blog or pitch with a blah blah opener like: ‘Organisations have seen a dramatic increase in staff attrition over the past year.’

 

But see what a difference it makes if you make your reader the action hero: ‘Another day, another resignation letter on your desk. Your heart sinks as you reach for your double espresso, bracing yourself for another round of recruitment.’

 

It’s an easy switch that makes a big difference – try it for your next talk, meeting, blog, pitch, presentation or email to engage your audience from the get go.

 

You’ll be MY hero if you do.

accenture
UBS
Ricoh
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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