The PR BlogCreativityStorytelling & Writing3 Ways to Improve Your Storytelling (in 15 Minutes)

3 Ways to Improve Your Storytelling (in 15 Minutes)

Three simple scripts that you can use to tell better stories.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

How can you improve your storytelling?

If you’re look­ing to improve your storytelling, then I have three per­fect ways for you to chal­lenge your inner storyteller.

And the best part: 

Neither of these three scripts should take you more than 15 minutes to try for yourself.

Here we go:

Script 1: The Pixar Pitch

The Pixar pitch, made fam­ous by Dan Pink in his book To Sell Is Human, is an excel­lent way to find a nar­rat­ive in your business. 

Emma Coats, a story artist at Pixar, has broken down the key ele­ments of great storytelling in an eleg­ant way that cer­tainly could help improve your storytelling. 

Nemo telling a story, Pixar, highly detailed - Improve Your Storytelling
AI art. Prompt: “Nemo telling a story, Pixar, highly detailed.”

Here’s the Pixar Pitch script for you to try: 

Once upon a time there was _________. Every day _________. One day _________. Because of that _________. Because of that _________. Until finally _________. 

Jay Connor gives this example of a plot for Finding Nemo:

Once upon a time, there was a wid­owed fish named Marlin, who was highly pro­tect­ive of his only son, Nemo.

Every day Marlin warned Nemo of the ocean’s dangers and implored him not to swim far away.

One day in an act of defi­ance, Nemo ignores his father’s warn­ings and swims into the open water.

Because of that, he is cap­tured by a diver and ends up in the fish tank of a dent­ist in Sydney.

Because of that Marlin sets off on a jour­ney to recov­er Nemo, enlist­ing the help of oth­er sea creatures along the way.

Until finally Marvin and Nemo find each oth­er, reunite and learn that love depends on trust.

As I tried this for my own freel­ance busi­ness, Spin Factory, here’s what I came up with:

Once upon a time, there was no inter­net.

Every day, com­pan­ies had to rely on a few power­ful mass media dis­trib­ut­ors to mar­ket to their con­sumers.

One day, the advance­ments in inform­a­tion tech­no­logy exploded, and all com­pan­ies had to change their way of reach­ing out, but few knew how to do this.

Because of that, “social media experts” emerged and star­ted mak­ing money from com­pan­ies by advising them to pol­lute the digit­al uni­verse with clut­ter and com­plex­ity.

Because of that, Jerry struggled with the idea that com­pan­ies should strive to be clear­er instead of rely­ing on the same old spray-and-pray strategy.

Until finally, he decided to take a leap of faith togeth­er with a small group of cli­ents, all tired of push­ing one mes­sage after the oth­er with no effect, and so the agency Spin Factory was born.

Script 2: The Rebel Yell Statement

Maybe you work to earn money, put food on the table and hope­fully have fun. 

But is that all? 

Maybe there’s also some­thing more pro­found, a core pur­pose, that drives us to go the extra mile.

Billy Idol - The Rebel Yell Statement
The man, the myth, the rebel. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons.)

The Rebel Yell Statement

Copywriter Kevin Rogers pub­lished this simple yet effect­ive script to improve your storytelling, the rebel yell state­ment, named after the legendary rock anthem by Billy Idol.

Here’s the rebel yell state­ment script for you to try: 

My name is _________, I love _________ but was fed up with _________. So I cre­ated _________ that _________.

Here’s an example by Rogers on Steve Jobs:

My name is Steve, I love com­puters but was fed up with the snail’s pace of com­mer­cial tech­no­logy. So I cre­ated a user-friendly com­puter that pro­cesses inform­a­tion faster than any­thing else out there today.

Here’s the rebel yell state­ment I wrote for this blog, Doctor Spin:

My name is Jerry, I love PR, but was fed up with “social media experts” giv­ing cli­ents bull­shit advice. So I cre­ated Doctor Spin to share action­able insights based on aca­dem­ic research, hands-on exper­i­ence, and passion.

Learn more: 3 Ways to Improve Your Storytelling (in 15 Minutes)

Script 3: The Lottery Question

Imagine your organ­isa­tion won the lot­tery; money is no longer a primary motivator. 

You and your co-work­ers are now taken care of fin­an­cially, and the brand has earned notori­ety by hav­ing the win­ning ticket. 

Taking money out of the equa­tion might seem coun­ter­in­tu­it­ive for a busi­ness. I’m all about the bot­tom line, too. Still, this is about how to improve your storytelling.

Lottery ball, visual art, highly detailed - Improve Your Storytelling
AI art. Prompt: “Lottery ball, visu­al art, highly detailed.”

Here’s the Lottery Question script for you to try: 

With more money than you need in the bank, what would your com­pany do next? 

Here’s how I ima­gine this scen­ario for Spin Factory:

Great minds need time for reflec­tion to grow stronger and hap­pi­er, so we would have more vaca­tion time than the usu­al industry stand­ard.

Each week, we would set aside time to explore new aca­dem­ic research and inter­act with the sci­entif­ic com­munity on beha­vi­our­al research, human psy­cho­logy, and online mar­ket­ing.

I wouldn’t go out on a frantic hir­ing spree but rather invest heav­ily in the people we already have on board.

We would say no to work­ing with cli­ents if we don’t feel pas­sion­ate about their busi­ness object­ives.

Our kick­offs, con­fer­ences and team-build­ing travels would be so epic that it would be ridicu­lous.

We would do pro bono work for import­ant non-profits that oth­er­wise can’t afford our expert­ise.

Despite the suc­cess, we would still work hard because we con­sider hard work a vir­tue and a way of life.

As fol­lows:

What could you do to imple­ment your lot­tery ideas today — even without win­ning an actu­al lottery?


Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing it with oth­er PR- and com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Checklist for Leadership Clarity

Checklist for Communicative Leadership

Always make sure that every­one in an organ­isa­tion is 100% clear about the following:

  • This is what we are doing. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?
  • This is why we are doing it. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?
  • This is who will be doing it. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?
  • This is how we are doing it. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?
  • This is when we are doing it. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?
  • This is where we are doing it. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?
  • This is for whom we are doing it. Is this clear? Do you have any ques­tions? Can you repeat it back to me?

Read more: How To Recognise Poor Communicative Leadership in Organisations

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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