Whether you’re a writer, a speaker, or a business professional, storytelling empowers you to connect successfully with readers, family members, colleagues, employees, and clients. This article explores the four elements of a good story: conflict, transformation, authenticity, and magic—and how you can use them to motivate and inspire.
Storytelling Element 1: Conflict
Stories are driven by conflict—challenges that must be overcome, obstacles that must be faced.
Cinderella’s jealous stepmother keeps her as a house slave to cook and clean. She is not allowed to attend the royal ball where the prince is to select a bride. Will she spend her life locked in a tower with only mice for friends?
When Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, he obtains superhuman strength and speed, and the ability to climb walls. Parker witnesses a robbery in progress but does nothing to stop it. Later, the same criminal kills his uncle. Burdened by guilt, Peter must reassess his principles and priorities.
ACME Corporation faces competition from knock-offs and cheap imports. If it can’t convince customers that its higher-priced, domestic product is superior, it will soon be out of business.
XYZ Company’s employees are demotivated by layoffs and cutbacks, even though these tough decisions have kept the company afloat. Workers think management doesn’t see the “big picture.” Morale is low. Productivity and profitability are in decline.
Conflict gives us a reason to turn the page; it’s the gravitas that pulls us into the story. We want to find out what happens. Continue reading →