By Neil McCormick published May 2, 2017

PUT STORYTELLING TO WORK FOR YOU

Storytelling is NOT rocket science, but telling a story with a purpose IS a form of brain surgery.  You need to get inside the target audience’s brain, leave a lasting impression, and change behaviors.  Story can do that.

Now how do you get inside your audience’s heads and change their minds, soften their hearts, or move them to action?

Create a video!

Not sure what kind of video to make?   Check out this blog post which explores 12 video types and provides many examples.  

How do you put video storytelling to work for you? Start by identifying with your audience: What do they think now?  What do you want them to think after viewing your video?  Producing a persuasive video requires interweaving creativity with effective message design.  Simply put…storytelling.  If you want your audience to think differently about a subject, it is better that they come to their own conclusion about the subject, rather than being told what they SHOULD think.  If a story is carefully designed it draws the viewer’s interest.  It then builds on the viewer’s initial interest with some character development and by posing a challenge to overcome.  

Here’s one example.  If I were trying to convince my audience that I am an honest person they can trust,  I might simply say,  

“You can trust me.  I’m honest.”  

trust me, I'm honest

But to the audience, this is just a claim with no support.  I could get someone else to testify to my trustworthiness.  That could be effective, depending on the person’s credibility with the audience. Or, I could tell a story about myself that lets the audience come to their own conclusion.  For example,  I might say,

“I’m a little old-fashioned.  I pay cash for purchases.  I like to make exact change at the checkout register to keep coins from piling up on my dresser or accumulating wads of singles in my billfold.  I don’t always have exact change, so I try to reduce the amount of coins and singles I’ll get back.  This practice often confuses the cashier, and frequently they hand me more change than they should.  When I explain that they “over-changed” me, they look at me with wide-eyes then sigh with relief.  

See the difference? Hopefully, my audience concludes, “This guy is honest.  He didn’t take advantage of the cashier.” Drawing my audience to the “this guy is honest” conclusion takes longer than making a claim with no support, but it is far more effective.  

Are you ready to conduct “brain surgery”? Put storytelling to work in your next video and share it with me. I love a good story!

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