We’ve been going through a series of lessons on how to tell a great story. These lessons are gems we’ve picked up from our training with prestigious film school Muse Storytelling. We’ve tackled telling a great story by maximising the elements of people and place. This week, we go through the third component of a great film, which is the purpose.
We tell our stories when we make films, give a presentation, build your social media accounts or have simple conversations. We usually tell it to get a sale, earn a grant or even win a new friend. And when we tell our story, we want it to stick.
A good story is one that people will remember. One of the best ways to do that is to know the purpose of your story. Purpose makes sure that your audience is left with something. When there is a buy-in to a singular purpose, it helps us filter all creative decisions.
To story tell purpose, the first step is determining the goal of the story. And that can sometimes be a challenge. Thankfully we’ve learned in our training with Patrick Moreau guides to unearthing your story’s objective. Here are some guiding questions to help you determine the purpose of your story.
What’s inspiring about your story?
The true mark of purpose is an inspiring message. The vision of a founder, goal of a charity or dreams of a person. Find what’s inspiring about your story. Is it the perseverance of the character or the passion? When you find what’s inspiring about your story, you’re one step closer to determining the why.
What’s most unique in your story?
Uniqueness is another characteristic of a strong purpose. Why you’re telling your story and what’s unique about it are often intertwined. What makes the story unique? That will often lead you to the goal of a story.
Who’s your audience?
When telling your story, it’s good to know who you’re speaking to. A purpose of a story is always connected to your audience so it’s important to know who your audience is- what their felt needs and preferences are. When you know who you’re speaking to, we determine how to engage them.
What feelings do you want to invoke?
Stories are more than just a collection of facts. It’s also the emotions that they trigger in people as their told. How do you want people to feel when watching a video or listening to a speech? Do you want them to feel happy, dismayed or even scared?
What action do you want people to take?
A purpose will always lead to a call to action. Great stories are those that get you to do something. What’s the action you want your audience to take after hearing your story? It could be to purchase your product, eat less sugar, recycle more or to support local products. Your call to action is attached to the purpose of your story.
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