Chapter 4 How to construct and share your stories

Now you know the four types of stories you need, and you’ve come up with a list of potential memories and stories that you can use. This serves as your ‘go-to’ list. As you identify a business message or situation where you need to use a story, you can look at this list and craft the relevant story you need.

Of course, it’s a good idea to pick a few stories to get you going. As you’ll soon see, preparation is key when it comes to effective storytelling.

So let’s walk through how you construct and craft a story. First, you’ll need to write or type out your story before you hone it and practise presenting it. This will help you craft a story that is succinct and relevant, and means you’ll have something to keep referring back to over time.

To begin crafting your stories, let’s look at some storytelling advice that has withstood the test of time. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, invented this simple three-step story structure back in 350 BC:

  1. beginning
  2. middle
  3. end.

Let’s look at each in more detail.

The beginning

How do you start a story? Often, the best approach is with time and place. Some examples include:

  • ‘When I was a kid, I lived in Switzerland …’
  • ‘This morning when I was taking the dog for a walk …’
  • ‘In grade 3, I had a best friend called Lizzy …’
  • ‘When I was kid, we would always go camping on holidays …’
  • ‘On 9 December 2007, I received a phone call …’

Stories that start with a specific date, and sometimes an exact time, ...

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