Monday, May 31, 2010

To Tell A Story, Peel An Onion

I like stories. I like to hear them and I like to tell them. Because I know they're a powerful way to communicate, I've presented storytelling workshops to stations and at conventions to help people become better storytellers. 

Stories make you memorable and make what you say sticky. Stories are personal, interactive and engaging. Storytelling enables the quick, holistic understanding of a message without the listener having to absorb a mountain of facts or stream of data points.

Jeffrey Hedquist of Hedquist Productions, Inc.likes storytelling too - especially when the stories morph into effective radio ads.

Jeffrey who counts Clio, ADDY and EFFIE among the many awards he has won was a guest earlier this month on one of Albright & O'Malley's regular Client Wide Conference Calls. On the call Jeffrey shared his techniques for finding stories (look to your own past) and crafting them into effective ads (emotion is the key to a powerful story).

Jeffrey's story-to-ad process often involves what he calls "peeling the onion" - uncovering the emotional problem the product/business solves, noting "the more you peel the onion, the more powerful your commercial will be."

There's a wonderful scene (one of so many) in Mad Men where Don Draper (Jon Hamm) has been challenged to create an ad for a new piece of slide projector technology - the "wheel." The clients are expecting something quite different than what the get as Don peels the onion and delivers a powerful, emotional story about the real problem the Kodak Carousel solves.

Watch it here and be inspired to become a great storyteller for your clients.

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