3 Storytelling Tips to Command Attention

1. The Inciting Incident

This is something that happens to your client so that they cannot go on the same any longer. Something that forever upsets the balance.

In Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey it’s known as the Call to Adventure. It’s a heightened awareness of the necessity for change.

For example in Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker comes home to find his family and house burned to the ground. He now has nowhere left to hide and must go on his journey to become a Jedi.


How does this relate to your business?

An inciting incident for you might be the reason you started your business, decided to get a degree, or travel to Turkey. Something happened in your life that you just couldn’t refuse. No matter what.

Use it in the beginning of your story to hook the attention of your audience so that they have to stay around to find out what happens. This works so well in movies that even if the movie is bad, people will often wait to the end just to see what happens.

It’s that addicting!



2. Address The Conflict

The hero now thrust into a new world, will always find conflict and adversity. 

Conflict becomes the highlight of your story. The most important part of any marketing campaign!

It’s the part that really attracts your audience, yet so often it is overlooked.

It’s so relatable because it reminds us of our own struggle, and if we can see the hero overcome it we feel inspired. It’s much more emotionally impactful if you describe the inner obstacles the client is facing.

What are some obstacles your client’s face?

  • Feelings of overwhelm
  • Stepping out of their comfort zone
  • Fear of looking bad
  • Fear of failure
  • What they stand to lose if they don’t take action
  • Competitors thwarting our progress
  • Changing what they have always done before

Incorporate these into your marketing, and you are not only guaranteed to stand out, but to connect emotionally with your audience.


3. The Checkhov Principle

This principle states that what you have in the beginning of the story, should appear in the end, just somehow evolved or transformed.

This does two powerful things.

  1. It creates consistency in your content (which is important).
  2. It creates relevance. There shouldn’t be anything in your story that isn’t relevant. That’s poor storytelling!

Checkhov was a master writer and storyteller and this principle came from one of his most important quotes of all time. It goes like this.

If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there. -Anton Chekhov

Now this doesn’t have to be an object. It can also be a person. Focus on the person’s transformation.

In your business, how can your clients be the rifle

How have they changed from where they started because of you?

It’s often a subliminal thing, but it grounds your story and highlights the evolution.

As long as there is a transformation of a person from beginning to end, this will work wonders for you.

By Anthony Madani

Anthony is the Director at UpMedia Video, and an expert at Video Marketing, with a rapidly growing business. He’s spent over 18 years in media production, from award winning television shows (on Netflix and HBO), to producing ads for large corporations such as Toyota, Flight Center, and Canada Life.

One person drawing on a whiteboard, educating another person.

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