Five Elements to Construct a Good Story

Robert Dickman

Robert Dickman

Robert Dickman and Richard Maxwell weigh in on storytelling as a business persuasion tool in their book, The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business

Richard Maxwell

Richard Maxwell

They discuss storytelling as a persuasion method in this four minute video

They assert that a high-impact story contains the following elements:

1) Passion conveys authenticity, and makes the story memorable

2) Protagonist or hero (which might be an individual, group, or community) can be respected, liked, and engages and inspires interest, caring

3) Antagonist presents a challenge to the Protagonist, and this conflict engages interest and caring about the characters and outcome

4) Awareness, in which the protagonists, antagonists, and observers learn something, the kernel of the story’s dramatic impact

5) Transformation, or meaningful change during the story

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte

These elements have also been identified by well-known story experts including Nancy Duarte, whose books, Resonate and slide:ology, have been best-sellers.

Annette Simmons

Annette Simmons

Annette Simmons  is another expert whose book, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact, has garnered attention.

Jonah Sachs

Jonah Sachs

Jonah Sachs’ 2012, Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future, weaves together examples from various disciplines including marketing, advertising, classic mythology, as well as psychology and biology.

He characterized it as “a call to arms”, but its more practical contribution is highlighting the transformative power of social media in contemporary story-telling aimed at influencing and persuading.

-*What elements have you seen in stories that have most persuaded and motivated you?

LinkedIn Open Group – Stanford Social Innovation Review
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©Kathryn Welds


5 thoughts on “Five Elements to Construct a Good Story

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