Stories! Don’t bother me with them! I don’t have time. Just give me the facts.
A fact without a story is like the burger patty without the barbeque sauce. It’s good as far as it goes, but it needs something more, something to make it interesting, to give it context and meaning.
When charities ask for money, do they bury you in facts – how many homeless people, how small a budget, how many meals a year? No. they tell you the story of one affected person. They give the overall need a name and a context.
Whatever fact you would like people to remember – that yours is the best product, the best price, the finest resort – tell a story. Let your listener imagine having that experience.
Stories are magic.
But stories don’t just happen, they are created. Whether it is a novel, a screenplay, a memoir or an anecdote in a speech it starts with an idea and it is developed into a form that showcases your idea.
Developing a story is like faceting a diamond – you take it from a rough concept to a precision tool that carries your meaning or your message across to others.
Stories are not just for children and not just for adults when there’s nothing much on TV. Stories are a tool for business, education, sales, for anyone who wants to teach or persuade.
Narrative strategy is the who, what ,where, why, when (and how) of story.