How Anyone Can Tell to Win, Hollywood-Style

Whether your job is to encourage employees to perform a task, shareholders or business partners to believe in your vision or customers to buy your product, Hollywood executive Peter Gruber says we’re all in the emotional transportation business.

In his new book, Tell To Win, Gruber demonstrates how purposeful and emotional storytelling is the catalyst to propel people to act.

Gruber has a very colorful past, having produced blockbuster films (i.e. – Batman, Flashdance, The Color Purple, among others) for the past three decades and his films have earned more than 50 Academy Award nominations.

Developing these films along with some of the biggest egos in the movie industry serve as a backdrop to many of the stories he uses to vividly show rather than tell in this book. The basic screenwriting formula can be used to tell an inspiring story in a business setting:

Story building blocks:
1. Open with a challenge for the main character
2. Show how the character struggles through this challenge
3. Resolution: What was the result of the character overcoming this challenge

Gruber also outlines five core points in telling a great story:
1. Motivation: Contrary to what you may think, this point doesn’t center around motivating your audience, but rather knowing what motivates you, as the storyteller, moments before you speak to your audience. Gruber says you need to “get in state” before speaking the first word.
2. Audience: Render an experience to move them
3. Goal: All storytelling is purposeful. You are trying to create a relationship with the audience, not a transaction.
4. Interactive: A speech is not a monologue, it’s a dialogue. You want the audience to be a participant, not just a passenger.
5. Content: A story puts all key facts into an emotional context

This is part of a series of blog post running until the end of the year on business books in 2011 that can enhance the way you do presentations, improve the way you tell stories, engage with your audience, or market your business through social media or other channels.

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