A Simpler Way to Ensure the (Storytelling) Force Is With You

star wars


It’s Star Wars Day.

May the fourth be with you! (Get it!?) 

So dust off your Chewbacca costume. Fire up your lightsaber. And let the celebration begin! 

One thing…

…I won’t be joining you. 

I have nothing against the Star Wars movies. 

It’s not my favorite sci-fi (that honor goes to Battlestar Galactica, the 2004-09 edition), but it’s good enough. 

My gripe is with the people who cite Star Wars as they over-complicate business storytelling. 

Like all those gurus and wannabes who liken business stories to Return of the Jedi and The Godfather and Casablanca

They tell you things like “Your clients are Luke Skywalker, and you’re Yoda.” 

And they encourage you to load your business stories with all the elements of a good screenplay – like backstories and heroes and villains and conflicts and resolutions and so on and so forth. 

Sounds good in theory, but good luck with that – especially if you’re just getting started with storytelling. 

A few years back, I was helping a financial advisor power up his business stories. He’d spent lots of money and time on other storytelling consultants and courses. 

They made his head spin. 

He was stuck doing the “seven elements of storytelling…” thing, and he was frustrated. 

“I just want to write better emails and blog posts,” he said. “I don’t want to keep track of whether I’ve put all the story elements in the right places. It’s TOO complex. It feels like I need a master’s degree to write an email.”

I felt for him. 

I bump into so many “storytelling experts” who act as if they’re teaching a graduate school screenwriting course. 

There’s one who wants you to master “12 Storytelling Brand Archetypes.”  

Another offers a “simple 10-step system” for business storytelling.

Call me simple. But a “simple 10-step system” ain’t simple. Seems like seven steps too many.

When I sit down to write an email or blog post, I’d rather not have to remember Aristotle’s plot formula, the seven steps in “Freytag’s Storytelling Pyramid,” or the 12 stages of  “The Hero’s Journey.”

And at the risk of losing my membership in the Society of Big-Headed People Who Use Big Words, I say: 

I don’t want to hear any more about ark-UH-types. 

Don’t get me wrong.

Stories captivates prospects and inspire them to buy – including complex ones. 

And there is a time and place to deliver more sophisticated stories, but… 

Storytelling does not have to be so darn complicated. 

Yesterday, I shared a content-transformation story about my client Richard. He transformed an email from boring to brilliant by telling a tiny story about his mom and her strawberry shortcake recipe. 

The story had personality. It reminded prospects WHY they might remodel their kitchen. It built a bond between Richard and his readers. 

Three sentences. Simple and powerful. 

Does Richard’s story include 10 steps or 12 stages or seven elements? Not even close!

Which classic story archetypes does it reflect? Beats me! 

Would screenwriters call this a “story?” Nope! 

But there’s plenty of story power in Richard’s email.

My mission is to simplify storytelling so…

…you can achieve the desired outcome (turn content from boring to brilliant…

…and enjoy the ride…

…without all that confusion and complication…

…without mastering pyramids or 10+ steps/stages. 

If you keep it simple, the power of storytelling – or (dare I say it?) the force – will be with you. 

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.