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How to plan an impactful story πŸ“š

Storytelling is the most powerful way of delivering a message. Find out how to plan for an impactful video that your contributors and audience will engage with.

Why is storytelling important?

 

In the 2012 book Lead with a Story, author Paul Smith notes that facts shared within stories are 20x more likely to be remembered. This is because stories go beyond the critical points of a message. Effective storytelling cuts through the noise in a business world dominated by data; it gets to the core of the message and connects people to the truth behind the numbers. 

 

πŸ’‘Stories are an essential way of communicating your brand.  

πŸ’‘Stories help you get your message across in a memorable way. 

πŸ’‘The art of storytelling is a way of evoking emotions in another person, leading to action.

 

To learn more, read our complete guide to storytelling.

Where to start when planning your story?

 

1. Don't create your story; find your story

Establishing the 'why' of your story will help build the common ground that you share with your audience.

Your stories should answer the all-important questions of 'why': 

  • Why do you do what you do? 
  • What's the passion that drives your brand? Your team? Your employees?
  • Why should a customer choose your product or service? 
  • Why should a talented professional decide to work for you? 
  • Why should an investor put funding behind your business? 

Here's a great example of a brand that gets across the 'why'. In this clip, Amazon shares their values of encouraging shared experiences with the ultimate aim of creating an equitable system for black men in the tech industry. 

 

2. Define your audience 

Rather than target a generic audience, plan your project around a specific person or group. By focusing, not only will you create a much more compelling video, but you'll tell your story in the most authentic and relatable way possible.

Then you can go back back to the number one question: 'why'. Why is your video important to this audience? And, why do they need to know about it?

3. You don't have to do it all by yourself

Asking the right people to help lead your video can generate more and better contributions. By building a network of ambassadors from the people in your community who are closest to your specific cause, you put your brand in a prime position to educate on a critical issue. You might consider: 

  • Who is best placed to tell the story?
  • Who is closest to the topic and cares the most? 

4. Show don't tell 

Whilst there is nothing wrong with having a clear picture of what you would like your final piece of content to look like, try to resist the urge to provide too much of a script or focus on yourself. Let the story come from the people who are telling it.

Whether you are expressing an achievement, excitement, longing, or anything in-between, you want your audience to connect and resonate with what you stand for. After all, people feel inspired when they can relate to the storyteller. 

So, one of the most important rules of storytelling is that there are no rules! Your video doesn't necessarily need to have a script, but it does need to conjure up the emotions and values that represent your 'why.'

5. What form is your video going to take?

Now that you've planned your video, it's time to work out what form it will take and even how you're going to share it with the world. Keep in mind the styles of filming, types of videos or inspiration you've seen elsewhere. Whether it's a documentary, a training video or homage, develop as many ideas as possible. 

As long as you're staying true to the 'why' of your video, don't be afraid to try something new.

6. What is your call to action?

You've made it! Your video should now have a beginning, middle, and end with a clear purpose, so it's time to think about the final message that you want to leave your audience with. Whether you would like to direct people to resources, sign up for an event or leave them with a thought-provoking question, don't forget about closing that all-important loop in your video project. 

 

Now, on to creating your video.