Why We Love, Love, Love Storytelling
Once upon a time, we all listened to – and learned from – stories. They were full of magic and wonder, wisdom and surprise. Then somewhere along the line, we grew up.
Which is a darn shame. Because the techniques used to create and understand stories can be equally useful in the grown-up world – for instance, to help you learn about target audiences, identify unmet needs and enhance the act of communication itself.
Story analysis and synthesis have generated models for knowledge sharing and decision making that even MBAs can love. In fact, storytelling has been used successfully at all stages of product (and service) development – from the fuzzy front end when you’re trying to get your arms around the essential attributes to nitty-gritty details like nailing down specific marketing language and visual elements.
Which is why we’re making stories accessible again – in the form of a particularly effective tool called the story collage. It’s pretty much as simple as it sounds:
participants are given pictures from magazines and asked to create a story out of them.
So what’s the big deal? Our theory is that while an individual is putting a story together, the unconscious mind is guiding the selection of the pictures that “feel” right and organizing them in a way that makes intuitive sense. Sure, there will be a veneer of reason and rationality – but in the face of so many unstructured options, the id side of things will certainly play a part in selecting one image over another. And that can reveal all sorts of wonderful, magical and often surprising wisdom.
That’s the theory, anyway. The reality is that, for whatever reason, these types of exercises work really, really well. Especially when the people doing the analysis listen with open ears, open minds, and even more, open hearts, and allow themselves to look for the truest meanings that might be hiding in plain sight – in the words and images of the stories themselves.
The end? Nope, that’s just the beginning….
Intrigued? Here’s the Storytelling Kit
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Making Preparations
- Facilitating a Storytelling Session
- StoryBook Instructions & Tips
- Circle Around Instructions & Tips
- Facilitating Your Story Analysis Session
- Suggested Analysis Approaches for Stories
- Sample Story Analysis Templates
- Gap Analysis Instructions & Tips
Our kit provides you the tips and tools to lead story telling activities successfully and easily in your qualitative research practice. Included in this kit are 2 small wall size StoryBook templates, 2 wall size Circle Around templates, and 1 wall size Gap Analysis template (this one is BRAND NEW!) plus a 16 page Leaderguide for Storytelling in a qualitative research setting. The graphic templates included are printed on 24 lb white bond large format paper.