"Effective Storytelling" for Stanford Professional Women

“Effective storytelling” was the topic of my talk for members of the Stanford Professional Women in Los Angeles. As a Stanford graduate of the Class of ’76, it was fun to see former classmates like Jackie Williams Jones and to make some new friends and contacts.
I discussed the general theme of storytelling in the multimedia world, using the model of Crisis, Conflict and Resolution (CCR). Normally, I use an example such as the famous Susan Boyle clip from “Britain’s Got Talent.” It has been viewed more than 20 million times and is a nearly perfect example of CCR storytelling. Notice that people download the seven minute clip and not the entire episode of “Britain’s Got Talent.” Nobody ever says “tell me a show” or “tell me a media platform.” People have a basic human need for a good story.
My presentation became an unexpected CCR when the power point videos refused to play in the projector. Many thanks to Adrian, Robin and Lisa for sorting it all out.
I also discussed my experience in the Maldives. Great stories have the power to change the world, and in the case of the Maldives Media Training Project, the storytellers in my training program at Television Maldives changed their country. In reviewing the project, which I have chronicled on this blog, it was awesome to reflect on how much the TVM training in 2008 was able to accomplish in the short time leading up to the country’s first multiparty presidential election. Now that I’m headed back to Maldives for the fourth time, there is still much to be done. The relationship between the press and the government is still being worked out, and this time I’ll get to do some training on BOTH sides.
The essential message here is that everyone can define their own multimedia brand by mastering CCR storytelling. Many people and companies shy away from the crisis and conflict, saying only that their brand is great. When you create a compelling narrative with CCR, you involve the audience and invite them to get involved with you and your product.
Many thanks to all the SPWLA members who fought their way through LA traffic to attend the talk. You’re a great audience!