October 9, 2012

How do you tell your story? Insights from great storytellers @chicagoideas #CIW

Filed under: Branding,Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 4:45 pm

This week is Chicago Ideas Week and I was anxiously awaiting today’s session on storytellers, presented by Leo Burnett.

Rushing downtown after a last-minute pediatrician visit, I settled in for an hour-and-half of storytelling inspiration (and a much-needed break).

Speaker highlights:

Obsession—an essential part of storytelling

Author Rebecca Skloot talked about how obsession is an essential part of storytelling. I totally agree, in fact the concept of “creative obsession” drives a lot of popular blogs (including my own type-obsessed blog). She also gave an inspired account of how a professor’s lecture sparked the idea for her award-winning book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. “You never know what one sentence will do to affect someone’s life.” (paraphrasing)

Telling a brand’s story

Susan Credle, Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett spoke about storytelling through advertising and marketing. She discussed approaching brands and products as characters in a story. She also elaborated on how storytelling has evolved in advertising: brands are starting stories and people are taking those stories and expanding on them. She showed a wonderful example, the Leo Burnett-produced Secret Mean Stinks campaign (a must-see for parents of girls especially).

Becoming a part of your story

A.J. Jacobs gave an entertaining talk on observing and participating in storytelling. In his case, this means a year of living according to the Bible and reading the entire encyclopedia. “You change your behavior and your mind follows.”

Telling your own story

I was delighted to return to my office and stumble upon this 99u.com article in my inbox: Want Your Message To Stick? Tell A Story. It tied in nicely with today’s storytelling session and offered  tips for telling your story, such as figuring out your idea (or “character”) and setting the mood. Read the rest here.

One of my recent goals has been to focus more on my (and my business’) story.

What about you…how do you tell your story?