Story Telling Lesson From the Movies
Think about some the best-known blockbuster movie franchises.
Star Wars. Indiana Jones. Harry Potter.
Each is a successful movie series.
Why have they reached a high level of popularity and profitability?
Not because they’re set in space, or focus on treasure hunting, or involve magic.
The Power of Memorable Characters
They’re memorable because they involve compelling characters.
Luke Skywalker was a boy who felt trapped on his aunt and uncle’s farm.
Have you ever felt trapped?
Indiana Jones lived a secret life of worldwide treasure hunting.
Have you ever dreamed of taking exciting trips around the globe?
Harry Potter was a poorly-treated orphan who often felt alone.
Have you ever felt isolated, without friends?
Take away the special effects and unique circumstances. These are relatable, likable characters who experience the same feelings as you.
Story Lessons From a Hollywood Guru
Fortunately, these types of characters aren’t limited to movies or books.
You may be a sales professional, a leader, or involved in your community. Your stories can create that same connection in listeners as movies do. You, too, can create a blockbuster story.
In the next three blog posts, you’ll read about a powerful storytelling model. It’s creator is Michael Hague, a leading Hollywood script consultant.
His six steps are:
Introduce the Hero (Protagonist) is his/her everyday life.
Describe a Difficult Circumstance the hero is experiencing.
Explain a Desire the hero wants to achieve.
Highlight a Conflict that the hero has to endure.
Explain the Climax of the story. This is the scene in which obstacles are overcome and achievement of the hero’s desire occurs.
Describe the Aftermath. This is the new life, or new way of living that the hero is experiencing.
There are many similarities between Mr. Hague’s 6 steps and the 7 C’s to Sensational Storytelling. His approach offers a different perspective. It can help you as you develop your business stories.
A Relatable Business Story
To give insight into his process, consider the story of Nicole. She’s the main character in my Kindle book series ‘Sell More With Stories’. She’s a struggling financial advisor who’s been in business for four years. An important part of her work is to attract new clients.
One of the ways she’s required to do this is to attend networking and social events.
When you meet her in the story, she’s dressed in her traditional blue blazer and skirt, white blouse, with an American flag pinned on her lapel. She’s fit and wears wire-rimmed glasses.
With great hesitation and reluctance, she enters the room of a local business networking event. Without a word, she smiles at two acquaintances as she walks over to the beverage table. She quietly stands stands there, thinking “God, I hate these events.’
This brief description covers points One and Two of Michael Hague’s formula. He believes that a memorable story must elicit emotion. It should introduce your hero in her everyday life. If you show her feeling ‘stuck’ you create empathy for her. This is critical to creating a connection with the listener.
Two Keys to Provide Insight Into Your Character
Two other subtle, yet effective tools to give insight into the character is to:
Describe how she’s dressed
Explain how she enters a room
Based on the attire she’s wearing, what do you know about Nicole?
She’s professional. Most likely, she’s conservative. She’s patriotic. She probably works out.
All that from two sentences. Far too many people give lengthy descriptions of characters, or give no description. Offer four or five details. This provides insight into that individuals’s personality.
The second tip is to explain how the person enters a room. In Nicole’s case, what do you know about her when she walks into the networking event?
Her hesitation and reluctance tells us she may feel a lack of confidence, or she could feel intimidated.
Standing off to the side tells us she may feel frustrated, shy, or otherwise unsure of what to do in these events.
Again, much insight into her character from a couple of sentences.
In a short time, you have met a character who’s in a difficult situation. Can you relate to her?
Most people can.
We’re now ready to learn more about her circumstances, and her overriding desire.
You’ll read about that in the next blog post…
The website Story Mastery. Created by Michael Hague, this site offers Michael’s unique perspective into the world of storytelling. It has helped me in my own business stories, and coaching others to improve their stories.
Visit: StoryMastery.com. Be sure to sign up for his weekly storytelling tips.