Why Smart Companies Embrace the Negative

Why is the negative so important in Storynomics™? Robert McKee explains to The PLOT Company why we should never avoid the negative in storytelling.   Quotes of the Week “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”   - Graham Greene   “Every great story seems to begin with a snake.”   - Nicolas...

What Makes Business Leaders Buy Into the Concept of Storytelling?

Robert McKee provides insights into how our brains respond to story, and details his approach with business leaders.   Quotes of the Week “The engineers of the future will be poets.” - Terence McKenna   “Over the years I have become convinced that we learn best—and change—from hearing stories that strike a chord within us… Those in leadership positions who fail to grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves.” - John...

Is It Possible to Bring Storytelling Into Marketing?

Is it possible to bring storytelling into marketing or would it be too complex? Robert McKee explains the difference between traditional marketing and marketing using story.   Quotes of the Week “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” - Robert McKee   “Stories are the secret reservoir of values: change the stories individuals and nations live by and tell themselves, and you change the individuals and nations.” - Ben...

How to Use Story in Business Presentations

Ready to Stop Using Coercion and Seduction? Robert McKee explains why people are tired of coercion and seduction but hungry for story.   Quotes of the Week “What kind of logic do you use, scientific or humanistic? The answer is you must use both.” - Robert McKee   “Only that in you which is me can hear what I’m saying.” - Baba Ram...

Can Story Motivate My Employees?

Robert McKee outlines the key characteristics of good storytelling that empower your presentations and encourage a workforce to be more productive.   Quote of the Week “Learning can only happen when a child [or an employee] is interested. If he’s not interested, it’s like throwing marshmallows at his head and calling it eating.” - Kartina Gutleben Featured Article Apple’s Redemption Plot By Jason Abbruzzese for MASHABLE Apple, six months from bankruptcy in ’97, is on its way to becoming the first trillion-dollar company. It’s a redemption plot led by a rare man who understood story in...

Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job

Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-Up By Alina Tugend - New York Times DEC. 12, 2014 [Full Article]   It’s been called a strategic tool with “irresistible power” by Harvard Business Review. And “the major business lesson of 2014” by Entrepreneur magazine What exciting new 21st-century technology is this? The age-old art of storytelling — something humans have done since they could first communicate. So why has it become this year’s buzzword? And what is its new value? In these days of tougher-than-ever job searches, competition for crowdfunding and start-ups looking to be the next Google or Facebook, it’s not enough just to offer up the facts about you or your company to prospective employers or investors. Or even to your own workers. You need to be compelling, unforgettable, funny and smart. Magnetic, even. You need to be able to answer the question that might be lingering in the minds of the people you’re trying to persuade: What makes you so special? You need to have a good story. “As human beings, we know that stories work, but when we get in a business relationship, we forget this,” said Keith Quesenberry, a lecturer at the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University. Learning — or relearning — how to tell stories requires some skill. And consultants are lining up to teach it — sometimes for a hefty fee. Although the power of storytelling to attract — and even manipulate — is well known, the reason for its appeal has been unclear. But it may have something to do with oxytocin, also called the love hormone. Paul...

How Does Story Affect Life?

If you wish to understand the Primacy of Story - why story is essential to human motivation and decision-making - Robert McKee will get you started in this in-depth presentation for Thinking Digital.   Quotes of the Week “The Business story is designed to trigger the listener to take an effective action. If it doesn’t, the story fails.” - Robert McKee “Story is morally neutral. It can express profound truth or propaganda. The two greatest political storytellers of the 20th Century were Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler. Because storytelling is a form of persuasive jujitsu, and because world is full of black belt storytellers, the corporate leader has to train both his offensive and defensive moves.” - Robert McKee “Once upon a time you went to war with products and services. Today, the stories we tell or fail to tell determine our destinies.” – James...

Robert McKee’s STORY-in-BUSINESS Tips

1. LOOK FOR TROUBLE The starting point of all stories is a moment of disruption. A negative event throws the protagonist’s life out of balance, hooking the audience’s curiosity: How will this turn out? The protagonist’s quest to restore life’s balance by struggling against negative forces is at the heart of all compelling narratives. Therefore, fine storytellers do not avoid the negative side of life; they seek it out. They look for a instance of trouble so they can arc the telling to a positive return to balance.   2. NEVER STAR AN OVERDOG When human beings weigh their chances for achieving their deepest desires against the almost overwhelming forces of mother nature, social institutions, and even their own subconscious selves, they feel that they are an underdog. Indeed, no one feels like an overdog. Even the most powerful, wealthy, influential people fear, deep down inside, that everything they’ve achieved could be taken from them in a sudden moment of bad luck. Therefore, for a story to engage the feeling side of its audience, it must draw them into empathy or identification with a protagonist who, like the audience, is up against very powerful forces of antagonism.   3. NEVER STAR YOURSELF Almost without exception, all statements about one’s self are self-serving. Even when someone criticizes himself in public, there there’s always a subtext of self-congratulations: “And aren’t I a wonderfully self-aware, honest and brave person to see my flaws and confess them?” The line between autobiography and bragging is thin. Therefore, at those times in business when you must talk about your life, try to tell your story...

How Do I Use Story in a Keynote Address?

Robert McKee explains why, how, when, and where Story is best used in public speaking.   Quotes of the Week: “People don’t have 30 seconds to be interrupted, but they always have 30 minutes to hear a good story.” – Jon Thomas “Why was Solomon recognized as the wisest man in the world? Because he knew more stories (proverbs) than anyone else. Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and we’re all just cavemen with briefcases, hungry for a wise person to tell us stories.” - Alan Kay “Story is more than a communications tool, more than a sales tool; it is a decision-making tool. With enough data, any executive can read a cross-section of the now; only a few can author the future through story.” - Robert McKee  Featured Video The Naked Brand (13-minute abridged version) According to Bloomberg: “The Naked Brand takes aim at traditional advertising and its future. With their constant use of technology and social media, today’s consumers are smarter and more invested in what they buy and marketers are taking advantage of this newly empowered customer by creating transparent and positive stories about their companies and products.” Visit the film’s official...

How Does Story Relate to Business?

Robert McKee has taught Story-in-Business all over the world. This quick clip from Brazil hints at some of the content of his one-day seminar.   Six Classic Errors in Business Story Telling your story from the company’s view. Talking to the customer in the third person. Avoiding reality as way too “heavy”. Creating a gratuitious feel-good factor. Avoiding exact detail in the search for universality. Calling rhetorical exercises “stories” when they are only directed at the mental processes. Featured Article Harvard Business Review: “Robert McKee on Storytelling That Moves People” Why is persuasion so difficult, and what can you do to set people on fire? In search of answers to those questions, HBR senior editor Bronwyn Fryer paid a visit to Robert McKee, the world’s best-known and most respected screenwriting...