Google Search and Storytelling

The video above was created on YouTube using their new Google Search Stories application. It allows you to put in several search queries and then it plays them in order, along with the piece of music of your choice. What I chose to do with this tool, (and many other people as well) was to use the sequence of searches to tell a story. I could have put in several specific searches that all resulted in my website, blog, etc.. but telling a simple story is so much more powerful.

Basic Storytelling, It Ain’t Rocket Science

Creating this video reminded me of just how simple it is to construct a story, something I learned when my oldest daughter was about two years old. She used to say, “Daddy, tell me a story”, and I would tell her one or two. Then she would ask again and again. Sometimes I would say, “I just don’t know any more stories.” But, like most parents I wanted to give my daughter what she was asking for.  I discovered that by pushing past a slight amount of reluctance and discomfort, ( of having to think on the spot), I was able to come up with some pretty decent stories, which I found started to take shape in my head as I articulated them. After all most have known the basic elements of a story from the time we were the ones asking for the stories. 

Basic Elements of Storytelling

When I told stories to my daughter, most of the stories I told had a structure like this: 1.Introduction to the princess, (or sometimes unicorn), 2.princess gets in trouble with the antagonist, (usually a witch, or a dragon), 3.prince comes and dispatches the antagonist, 4.prince saves the princess, 5.they all lived happily after after. (Read further for the “grown-up” version.)

Stories have been told since the beginning of time, yet most have a common structure.
In 1972 by sociolinguist William Labov wrote an essay titled “The Transformation of Experience in Narrative Syntax” which identifies 6 recurring narrative features:

1. Abstract – How does it begin? 
2. Orientation – Who/what does it involve, and when/where? 
3. Complicating Action – Then what happened?
4. Resolution – What finally happened?
5. Evaluation – So what?
6. Coda – What does it all mean?

Tell Your Story

So now that you have the basic elements of story building, apply them to your brand. Use an existing story, or make up one that tells how your products or services enrich a life or solve a problem for someonee. Storytelling captures our attention and give us information in a much more useable and entertaining way then typical marketing. Take advantage of this simple, yet powerful tool to tell your story today!

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