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7 ways to add the storytelling sprinkles with Juliet Wood

Truth Tips; where we share quick advice on how to create meaningful and commercially valuable truth for our clients.

Don’t get me wrong structure and a clear outcome are the crucial building blocks to a good story. Yet too often creativity stops here. Throw me to the wolves but when you hit save there, you have …a research debrief. It may be a good debrief but to transform it into a story you need to add the ‘storytelling sprinkles’. The elements that help your audience feel inspired to get out of their seats and make change happen.

So here are my sprinkles of storytelling advice for you…

  1. Don’t let the Truth get in the way of a good story - I work at Truth of course I don’t really mean that! So, what do I mean? You’ve got beautiful robust data, naturally you want to show it off! But too often the narrative is lost in using every data point available. Instead, be confident in your story and bold enough to curate your evidence.

  2. Think Goldilocks - Let me introduce the ‘Goldilocks theory’. Goldilocks retold by a researcher would include a list of things Goldilocks didn’t eat. It’s too easy to share a descending bar graph of all our statements just because you have the data. If the answer is porridge… do we need to know about cereal, toast or pastries? Don’t be afraid to make the point…with a single number.  

  3. Be a tortoise not a hare -We always strive to cut down the number of slides, but it's not the number that’s the killer. Instead, it’s the density of information, crammed onto each slide. Embrace a breaker slide, deliver your message … and then reveal the data to evidence it.

  4. Act smart… be simple - I passionately believe it is more important to make sure everyone in the room follows rather than prove you’ve got brains (we already know you do!). Brilliantly, clever points stand on their own two feet so let go of  overly academic language.

  5. Be playful with language - A gorgeous sprinkling of more joyful language can change the mundane into something attention grabbing. Can your title lead with a provocation over information? Does your summary deliver facts vs. inspire change?  Copyediting can make your story powerful and memorable. So, edit, edit, edit! 

  6. Your story isn’t a cliff hanger - Don’t wait till the end to make the most important point.. Lead with the need-to-know news. It’ll help get buy in from your audience early and it’s easier to digest. Plus, if anyone's drifted off daydreaming about the weekend, you’ve already made your point. So cut the suspense, include your main message upfront in a bold summary.    

  7. Finally … Step away from your desk - Glorious, exciting, smart storytelling is everywhere, don’t narrow your creativity or field of inspiration by just looking at what we do as an industry. What can you learn from other spaces? Curate like a museum director. Grab attention like a journalist. Simplify like a children’s author. Choose words like a poet.

To find out more about Truth and how we can help email 


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