I’ve been binge-watching Friday Night Lights. Have you seen it? I missed the series when it originally aired, so I’m catching up on all the popular television drama. On the surface it is the story of a high school football coach, and his team, in a small town in Texas. But it is so much more than that!
I’m not a football fan, but I was immediately captivated by Coach Taylor (played by the fabulous Kyle Chandler) and the Dillon Panthers. Each episode dives deep into the lives of the high school team members both on and off the football field. Unlike most high school teen dramas it’s complex, heart-warming, and inspiring. Whether you’re a football fan or not, you can’t help but cheer on the Panthers when they take the field!
Like any binge-worthy series, each episode draws you in, takes you on an emotional journey and leaves you wanting more.
When one episode ends, I watch another.
And then another…
Suddenly it’s 1 a.m. and I don’t know what’s happened to the last 3 hours!
That’s the power of great storytelling.
Have you ever wondered what makes a great story? How to craft a compelling story that will captivate your audience?
Whether you are writing a keynote speech, a sales page or a blog post, there are core elements that make up a great story.
Have you ever watched an episode of This is Us and not cried your eyes out? There’s a reason why the series is so popular! The series take viewers on an emotional journey by switching between the character’s present, past and future life experiences. Each character has a compelling story that highlights their best moments, while also showing their flaws. This display of the human experience draws you in and keeps you watching each week.
You can relate to the story
If I were to ask you what your favorite movie, book or TV show is, what would you say?
I recently asked my Facebook community this question and was overwhelmed by the response! The group lit up as they talked about their favorite characters in books, television and film.
One participant spoke about her love of the TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was a fan of the series for many reasons, but in particular that its title character was a strong female. She was inspired by, and saw herself, in Buffy.
That series ended 15 years ago, but it still stands out in her mind because she connected with Buffy’s presence. She identified with the character making it resonate in the present date.
All great stories need characters to bring that story to life. Whether hero or anti-hero, they inspire us, captivate us, make us laugh and cry. The best characters are those that are compelling. They are not perfect. In fact, they are often flawed. The flaws draw in the audience as they identify with the human experience.
Great storytelling inspires you to take action, make a change or simply to know what is possible. In one of my favorite TED talks, Nancy Duarte breaks down the elements of famous speeches such as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” and Steve Jobs iPhone product launch. She explains stories have an arc that shifts between discussing what is and what is possible or what could be. Storytellers that bridge the gap between what is and what could be make the greatest impact. They are able to inspire their audiences to know what is possible and to make a change to move towards the new idea.
Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite storytelling secret? Try using one of the secrets above in your storytelling and see what impact it makes!
If you’d like support with creating a compelling story, book your complimentary session.