At Canny Productions we immerse ourselves in story, we want to understand why some stories hold more power than others. What makes them different? So we look at a lot of stories and some of these are videos. We know stories arrive in multiple platforms from photographic stories to the written word or a good old-fashioned retelling, but not all videos are stories! So when is a video actually a story?
We see videos that folks try to sell as stories that are missing narrative and we see video that aren’t trying to be stories at all, just a trendy little ditty to catch the eye. But narrative is the critical element of a good story that transports an audience to where you need them to be, we call it ‘narrative transportation’ and there is brain science to back it up! We are hard wired to respond to a character driven story.
The way Aristotle describes story is an interesting character with weaknesses and strengths confronts a problem and tests their ability to overcome challenges. If they fail the story is a tragedy. If they succeed the story gets a happy ending.
So that’s the core character driving essentials of a story and the next is plot, how we put it all together. Every (good) story has a beginning, middle, and an end and all events within a story are included to serve a specific purpose. One good formula to follow when you are pulling together a narrative is the CCCRC – see below!
Your story needs to connect your audience and this connection occurs in the first eight seconds of your video. You need to lead with an emotional hook. Leading with facts, figures and data are difficult for an audience to relate to. You want your audience invested emotionally in your story before the hard facts come out, without this hook you are liable to loose your viewer before you get to the important stuff.
Every great story, from Grimm’s to Disney has a main character. An audience is more likely to relate to a person than they are to your data, your program, your product, or service; it’s just human nature. So Canny Productions always leads with a single person. This is true whether your selling business to business or trying to raise money for your charity, most decisions come down to single person and that’s the person you want to connect with. So take your story as an opportunity to build a connection with your stories character and make that character represent you.
Show the conflict that your character is facing and explain the ways that they have tried to overcome that conflict. Sharing how your character has worked to solve their problems and showing why they still need help builds rapport and shows character development to the viewer.
Show how your business has resolved to your character’s conflict and what can be done to implement it with the viewers help. If your resolution is simply that your business exists as a solution to your own story, then this great you have taken your audience on that journey with you, they now feel how you felt and they get you.
Call To Action
Now you’ve built a wonderful narrative and you need to tell your viewer exactly what you want them to do. This can be anything from buying your coffee to donating some money, to volunteering, to sharing a post on social media whatever it is be specific.