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Storytelling lessons from fairy tales

Published on Nov 18, 2015

A few lessons from fairy tales that apply to storytelling in the digital age.


Once Upon A Time...

Storytelling lessons from fairy tales
Photo by armadillo444

Fairy tales' classic appeal is no accident.

A few common elements:

  • The underdog or unlikely hero
  • Conflict or tension
  • An 'inciting incident'
  • Culminating point
  • A happy ending

How is that relevant to your business or organization today?

The digital ecosystem is crowded.

Photo by Phil Roeder

You have seconds to stand out.

Photo by PictureWendy

to hook us. your audience.

Photo by Poepoei

So what about fairy tales?

Photo by Kay Gaensler

We can relate to the underdog.

Cinderella. Aladdin. The Harry Potters of yesteryear -- you know the type.

Photo by kashyap_hc

We want to know their story.

We want to see the ending.

We are hooked.

Photo by jev55

Are you succeeding against all odds?

Photo by ind{yeah}

Did you fight off challenges to launch your product or service?

Are you championing a cause?

Photo by marsmet546

Tell us your conflict.

Photo by asafantman

Show us your pain.

Photo by gazzat

We are rooting for you!

Photo by HckySo

Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the woods.

Photo by martinak15

The Three Little Pigs are kicked out of their house.

Photo by johnmuk

Those are called inciting incidents.

The moments our heroes were called into action or embarked on their journeys.

Things don't just happen.

Tell us how you got here.

Photo by thorinside

Take us backstage.

Photo by Bob Bekian

We want to see your "hero's journey."

Photo by .aditya.

storytelling opportunities

  • Your founder's story
  • Customer successes
  • 'David vs. Goliath' moments
  • 'Eureka!' breakthroughs
  • Your impact on the world
Photo by kylemac

Make it personal.

Tug at the heartstrings.

Relate to us.

Photo by r.f.m II

And don't forget the happy ending.

Photo by Heather Burks


-- a blog about storytelling in the digital age