The Story Goes On…

We’ve just wrapped up our “Once Upon A Time” webinar series, which explored how research insights reporting can be elevated with video storytelling. We covered how FocusVision Video Insights can help make this a reality, thanks to its search, editing, and collaboration tools.

Following the webinars, I’ve been asked about resources related to story structure and storytelling in general. There’s a lot of material out there, and it can be tricky to find the info most applicable to our needs, within insights reporting.

I’ve explored material such as The Anatomy of Story, by John Truby, and even ventured into the world of screenwriting (Break into Screenwriting, by Ray Fensham). These are fantastic but, well, it feels like a long way from what we need to do.

So, with the view of starting small and close to home, here are four resources I suggest exploring:

TED Talks – The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, by Chris Anderson.

This book is geared more towards presenting, which has been very useful in itself, but I’ve also found helpful snippets around developing a good story. And even if this book isn’t for you, it’s always worth remembering that TED Talks themselves are great inspiration for presenting in general, and there are several talks dedicated to storytelling.

Most content by Nancy Duarte.

Speaking of storytelling TED Talks, there’s an excellent one by Nancy Duarte on The Secret Structure of Great Talks. Her book Slide:ology also has some very useful pieces on creating story-driven presentations. Much of the content focuses the visuals – again this is useful in itself – but there’s good information on thinking about the audience for your PowerPoint, the context within which they’ll see it, and creating ideas that will resonate. Duarte is a big proponent of the ‘what it is, what it could be’ story structure (read more about this). Personally, I’ve found this structure challenging to enact fully in presentations but it’s still very useful to think about and consider what structure (if any) you are using within your presentation and adjust course if need be.

Get to the Heart – How Movie Storytelling Secrets can Make Your Presentation Clear, Compelling, and Earn You a Seat at the Table, by Ted Frank.

I just came across Ted a couple of weeks ago at Quirks East, where he and Netflix’s Dave Decelle gave a rousing presentation ‘From Stats to Storyboard’. Ted’s presentation and book are wonderful because they directly address storytelling within the market research industry. He offers very manageable tips to guide you through building your own story-driven insights report. You can read a review of the book.

Lead with a Story – A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire, by Paul Smith.

There are a lot of good stories in this book that will make you think, along with exercises you can try, plus follow-on references to consult. I’ll confess that I’ve only dipped in and out of this book, but I added it because I do think it’s worth a read.

What are your most trusted resources for storytelling? Tweet them to us @FocusVisionInfo

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