The 3Rs of Storytelling

By Cliff Dumas
CMA, ACM & CCMA Winning Broadcaster

How important is purposeful storytelling to the success of your show or presentation?

Storytelling can help reveal your key relatable character traits. It can help you connect emotionally. It can help you build a stronger relationship with your audience.

The 3 important elements to remember when constructing a story are the 3 “Rs”. Reason, Reveal and Resolution.

REASON (Set up the challenge): Grab the attention of your audience with an unexpected challenge, dilemma, scenario, question or problem that you will answer or resolve by the end of the story. This is the “hook headline”/what’s at stake?” component of the piece.

REVEAL: Offer your audience an emotional experience by narrating the struggle, challenge or question that was to be answered or overcome in your story. This is the midpoint of the story where a picture is painted and the answers to who, what where when and why are revealed. Emotionalize your story using the senses. How did it feel, sound, smell, taste. Include at least one or two sensory descriptions in your story.
Ask “What Else?” What else can I do to make it bigger and add more layers (an expert or guest, video, production piece, conflict or controversy, a story, a stunt, media coverage, etc.)?

RESOLUTION: Satisfy your audience with an eye-popping resolution, conclusion or payoff.
How powerful is purposeful storytelling? Air Canada launched it’s most successful contest to date inspiring customers to submit their favorite travel stories to win prizes.
Storytelling isn’t just show business…it’s good business. TD bank has just launch a brilliant campaign inspiring powerful and emotional stories from customers surprised by a talking ATM machine. TD provided powerful resolutions to all of the compelling stories…the payoff? An emotional connection with the people AND the TD brand. Watch it here.


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