Storytelling Techniques to Activate Your Insights Work

Director, Client Services

As you know, telling your stakeholders a great story is far more powerful than showing them data alone. You also know that amplifying your insights work can make a real impact on the business. However, with minimal time to communicate with your audience — many of whom are already dealing with information overload — an evolution in storytelling is needed to move your team from results to action.

Our team has been leading a transformation in how our clients activate their insights work through the art of storytelling. And, to hone our efforts, we recently had a well-known storytelling consultant review with us highly compelling techniques to evolve from being innate storytellers to intentional ones. We all know how to enjoy and appreciate stories; human beings are born with these skills. However, it’s not always easy to define the elements that will make a story memorable. If it was, George Lucas wouldn’t be the inspiration that he is to so many of us today.

With minimal time to communicate with your audience—many of whom are already dealing with information overload—an evolution in storytelling is needed to move your team from results to action.”

Here are a few techniques that can help you turn insights into stories and deliver those stories effectively:

  • Video:
    We are visual beings, and this is one of the best ways that we have of turning insights into stories. Obviously, just showing a video isn’t enough. However, through video we can tell compelling stories, via an agreeable platform, and have it available to repeat whenever required. Key videos that offer the essence of our insights should be created (and frequently are in qualitative work) and used again and again.
  • Mobile-first (or at least mobile friendly):
    Create snapshots for key stakeholders that can be consumed much like other content on our smartphones. In this way, we can take advantage of being in-the-moment with the audience. Marketers and advertisers all over the world have learned the importance of this approach – and, as researchers, we are learning this as well. It often means creating an extra deliverable, but we have found it to be worth the extra effort.
  • Primal storytelling:
    Conduct any search for storytelling on the web and sooner or later you will find the fundamental parts to every good story. Indeed, George Lucas created Star Wars to prove to his USC classmates that there are essential elements to every story. In our world as researchers, we have helped clients identify the ‘hero’, and other key primal elements that define a good story, to help get the most out of their insights.
  • Focused reports:
    In other words, keeping it relevant for your audience. The idea of focused reports stems from the process through which different client teams are given bite-sized pieces of results that pertain most to their part of the business. With researchers serving as the inflection points, this approach ensures that all elements of your output can be actioned cohesively across teams, while being directed by the researcher.

Want to discuss more about how you can become an intentional storyteller?

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