The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

According to Dr Nick Morgan of Public Words there are five basic types of stories in western culture.

1. The Quest

The hero must achieve some difficult goal or reach a certain place within a certain time. Along the way they must overcome a series of obstacles.

2. Stranger In A Strange Land

In this story the hero is placed in an unfamiliar situation and has to learn to play by a new set of rules.

3. Rags To Riches

The hero starts from a position of disadvantage and through luck, hard work, and determination is ultimately rewarded with riches, fame, glory etc.

4. Revenge

The hero has been wronged by their enemy and sets out to avenge the wrong that has been done to them.

5. Love Story

The classic boy meets girl. Boy does something stupid. Boy has to win girl back again.

Which story applies to you?

Some examples in business might include: Venturing into a new market – stranger in a strange land.

Meeting a product launch deadline – the quest.

The classic entrepreneurial start-up from someone’s bedroom to multi-million dollar company – rags to riches.

Doing something that doesn’t sit well with customers then making it right – the love story.

Succeeding despite having to deal with tough competitors who do everything they can to stop you – revenge.

Whether you are preparing a campaign, coming up with an entire branding strategy, or making a presentation, figure out which of these basic themes applies to you, your business, or product, and craft a compelling story around it.

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

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Beware The Danger Of Comparing Your Life To Others

Beware The Danger Of Comparing Your Life To Others

“One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.”

– Steven Furtick  

Like a lot of you, when I look at some other people’s lives they really seem to have it together and have everything going for them and, even if just for a fleeting moment, I often feel inadequate in comparison.

But then occasionally you get a glimpse below the surface and realise that  not everything is as perfect as it seems. They are just like us or perhaps even more inadequate, insecure, or incapable.

In a personal sense, they probably struggle with the same issues we do with their relationships and families. In a business sense, people have a tendency to only share their successes and achievements because they perceive that revealing their weaknesses will reduce their credibility.

So when you’re feeling that way and starting to doubt yourself, remember that you are probably just seeing the best bits of other people’s lives. Their daily grind is most likely just the same as, or even harder, than yours.

 
 
David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

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The Art of Authentic Communication (Be The Glass Goblet)

The Art of Authentic Communication (Be The Glass Goblet)

The Art Of Authentic Communication (Be The Glass Goblet)

“You have two goblets before you. One is of solid gold, wrought in the most exquisite patterns. The other is of crystal-clear glass, thin as a bubble, and as transparent. Pour and drink; and according to your choice of goblet, I shall know whether or not you are a connoisseur of wine. For if you have no feelings about wine one way or the other, you will want the sensation of drinking the stuff out of a vessel that may have cost thousands of pounds; but if you are a member of that vanishing tribe, the amateurs of fine vintages, you will choose the crystal, because everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than to hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain.”

Back in 1932 a lady named Beatrice Warde used that metaphor in a speech to the British Typographers Guild. The speech itself debated whether design should embellish or elaborate the printed word. Over 80 years later the same metaphor can still be applied to modern forms of business communication.

These days the ’embellishments’ that business communicators use range from a tidal wave of information to overt creativity. Some modern day embellishments include:

  • Information overload designed to give the impression of knowledge.
  • The website (or other advertising) that tries too hard to be creative and ends up drowning out the message.
  • Social media gimmicks that serve no purpose other than to falsely inflate statistics.
  • Unnecessarily complicated language and buzzwords used in attempt to appear intelligent.

All of these things generally fail. Why? Because people are looking for genuine connection. They want to know what you think, what you know that affects them, and how you feel about the subject at hand – and they want it in a way they can understand.

Be more like the ‘glass goblet’ that reveals what’s inside and less like the bright shiny object that lacks real substance.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

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0427 360 293
P.O Box 8184 Bargara QLD 4670
david@wisewordscomms.com.au

 

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Speaking and Acting Are Not The Same Thing

Speaking and Acting Are Not The Same Thing

There is a line that separates speaking and acting and it is very clear. A speaker steps over that line the moment they stop talking to the audience and instead invite the audience to watch the scene being created on stage.

There is a term in acting called “dropping the fourth wall“.  Most stages have  three walls – the back wall and the two side walls. The fourth wall is the invisible wall at the front between the audience and the actors. The actors don’t acknowledge the presence of the audience during their performance. They invite the audience to watch the scene they create, but do not speak to or include them.

In speaking you share dialogue, movements, expressions and emotions with the audience. You always acknowledge and talk to the audience. Good speaking, in my opinion, is much more conversational and while you may be more animated and structured than you would be sitting down over coffee with someone, you are still projecting your own personality.

In business, a lot of people have a pre-conceived idea of how they should look, sound, and act when doing a presentation and so they try to imitate that instead of simply being themselves. In the process they a do a poor impression of whatever it is they are trying to be. 

In speaking the audience needs to relate to you, not some character that you are pretending to be. Certainly there are techniques we can teach you to help you be a more confident and articulate version of yourself, but when it comes to acting, it’s best to leave it to the Cate Blanchetts of the world.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

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0427 360 293
P.O Box 8184 Bargara QLD 4670
david@wisewordscomms.com.au

 

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Real Fears Vs Irrational Fears

Real Fears Vs Irrational Fears

Most of us understand that fear is something that often prevents us from doing things that we want to do and achieving things we would like to achieve. The problem is that many of us take the wrong approach to conquering our fears because we don’t understand the difference between what I will call real fears and irrational fears – or more accurately, the different ways they need to be handled.

Real fear is something that is justified because there is potentially a real consequence. For example, I would be afraid to jump in a tank unprotected with a dozen starving sharks. That’s because there is a very real possibility of me being dinner.

Irrational fears on the other hand, are fears where the consequences we imagine in our own mind are far worse than what is likely to be the case in reality. When you look at them logically there is no real justification for the fear.

Public speaking is a classic example of an irrational fear that many people have. 

They imagine they will be humiliated and embarrassed if they mess it up. In reality, I can say that having made, listened to and witnessed thousands of speeches by everyone from professionals to complete novices, I’ve never seen a speaker openly taunted or humiliated by an audience. The exception is the odd stand comedian, but that’s part of their territory. Elsewhere, such as in the business world, it just doesn’t happen.

When people set out to conquer some of these irrational fears and build up their self-esteem, they often make the mistake of trying to use real fears as a substitute. They believe that if they overcome a real fear by going swimming with sharks or jumping out of a plane, then they will be able to do anything and conquer anything from that time on. 

Activities such as sky-diving and bungee jumping are great fun, and they do provide a temporary feeling of euphoria. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any evidence that shows they are beneficial in fixing fears that have their origins in low self-esteem, self-doubt and other vulnerabilities of the mind.

Overcoming irrational fears requires substantially more time and effort.

Things you might try include:

  • Trying to work out the original source of your fear and asking yourself if it is still relevant in your life.
  • Finding a supportive friend or group to help you put your fear into perspective.
  • Like Nike says ‘just do it’ then keep doing that thing you fear until you’re no longer afraid.
  • In severe cases, where self-esteem issues stem from past trauma, you need to consider seeing a psychologist or counsellor. 

So if you want to go sky-diving, by all means, go sky-diving, but do it for the experience that it is, not because you think it will be a three-minute fix for all of your irrational fears.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

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Contact David Wise

0427 360 293
P.O Box 8184 Bargara QLD 4670
david@wisewordscomms.com.au

 

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