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Storytelling: What can we learn from Hollywood?

Presentation given in the first Lightbulb Sessions, about how we can use the basic principles of a hollywood storyline in a presentation.
More Lightbulbsessions via #LightBS.

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Storytelling: What can we learn from Hollywood?

  1. 1. LightbulbSessions – First edition - #LightBS<br />Storytelling-Whatcan we learnfrom Hollywood?<br />Find me on twittervia @eliasveris<br />
  2. 2. At a funeral, most people would rather be the man in the coffin, than stand up and give an euology... (J Seinfeld)<br />Public speaking is one of the number 1 fears. That’swhyinsights in the structure of a story canbe a life-saver.<br />
  3. 3. Ever wanted to become an actor?<br />Ifyoudidansweryes to thatquestion, I’dreplywith “youlackambition”.<br />I didn’t want to becomeanactor, I wanted to become the boss of actors: the director.<br />
  4. 4. There is onlyone place thatreallymattersfor directors withambition: Hollywood.<br />
  5. 5. Hollywood = storytelling paradise.<br />Hollywood is loadedwithpeoplethatspendtheirlife in search of the perfect story. Motivatedbylovefor the craft… and the possibiliy of lots of dollars.<br />
  6. 6. Stories are with us from the beginning<br />Because a good story resonateswitheveryone. Stories are what we learnedfromwhen we werestillkids, stories are what we humanslove and thuswhat we are willing to payfor.<br />
  7. 7. 1 minute story pitch<br />To get back to Hollywood: In Hollywood, story pitchesexist, where the ideaof a story is sold. Just the idea.<br />Isn’titdamnridiculoustopay a lot of money forjustanidea?<br />
  8. 8. Groundhog Day was pitched in one of those storypitches<br />Google Bob Kosberg if you want proof.<br />This is how the pitch went:<br />“A cranky, rude man has to relive the worst day of his life over and over again until he gets it right. When he does, he finds true love.”<br />
  9. 9. Insert idea<br />Take story<br />Thisidea of pitchingonlyworksifthere is anoiled machine thatcantransformrawmaterials (ideas) into real stories…<br />
  10. 10. …Andthat machine exists.<br />It existsbecausepeople in hollywood have spentagescraftingandrefining the secretformulatotransformideas in greatstories.<br />The formulagoeslikethis:<br />
  11. 11. P (2CL1CL) + PR = P5<br />
  12. 12. P (2CL1CL) + PR = P5<br />The protagonist P has a second choice life (2CL). He drinks toomuch, is lonely, has a boring job,… He wants toprogressto a first choice life (1CL), has a dream of a better life, but no urgencyto act uponityet.<br />
  13. 13. P (2CL1CL) + PR = P5<br />At a certain moment, he’sactivated. He encounters a problem (P); falls in love with a girl, getskidnapped,… He triestosolve the problemby means of a plan, but he willneed up to 5 plans (P5) tosolve it.<br />
  14. 14. His one but final plan willteach the protagonist that he willneedto get rid of his second choice life beforebeingabletosolve the problem. He willreach the point of no return, whereitseemsthat he will never get the girl/beat the bad guy, but thenfinds courage for his last, succeedingplan.<br />
  15. 15. Let’s take anexample in thisguy, BDS.<br />*(person actually present during the presentation)<br />
  16. 16. Say he falls in love withthislovelyyoung lady, KDC<br />Sheloveshimtoo, end of story, zero tension, BORING.<br />
  17. 17. Don K.A.<br />We needtension.<br />Say BDS leads a second choice life as a member of a criminalorganisation lead by Don K.A. <br />BDS isn’t a real criminalbynature, but he never felt the urgent needto get out of the organisationeither…<br />
  18. 18. Up tillnowthat is.<br />KDC has her principles, andwill never ever start anaffairwith a criminal. No sir!<br />
  19. 19. Soafter a couple of plans to meet eachother (3), he asks her to run awaywithhim. Whenshealmostsays yes, Don K.A. getshim back by brute force, andallseemstobe lost. Point of no return.<br />
  20. 20. So BDS has tocome up withan extreme plan, breakingwith his criminal life forevertobeableto get his girl. The only way is tokill the Don…<br />The Don must Die.<br />
  21. 21. So he does succeed in the end, andthey live happily ever after.<br />
  22. 22. Concepts touse in a presentation:<br />PR<br />2e CL<br />P5<br />Remember: tensioncomesfrom a second choice life (youraudienceshould feel this), a problem(youraudienceneeds a sense of urgency) and5 plans (youneedtobuild up tensionbeforeresolving) <br />
  23. 23. Presentation = Narrative<br />To make a long story short...<br />
  24. 24. Some concrete tips…<br />The Rocky Road towards a<br />greatpresentation<br />
  25. 25. Spencer Silver: 1968<br />Arthur Fry: 1973<br />Post-it: 1980<br />The post-it is yourfriend. Writing down yourcoreideas/examples/cases beforegoingtopowerpointallowsyoutoshuffleyourstorylinearounduntilyou’vereached the perfect structure.<br />
  26. 26. Everything has been triedbefore.Every story has been told. Re-use, reshuffle, stealandtransform.<br />Good artists copy, great artists steal<br />
  27. 27. Michael Jackson: 1983<br />David Bowie: 1974<br />Marcel Marceau: 1940<br />Afterall, Michael Jackson stole his world-famousmoonwalkfrom David Bowie, whostoleitfrom a mime student of Marcel Marceau. Whocaresaboutthat? No-one does.<br />
  28. 28. Be versatile. Ifyou talk business, thinkaboutwhatyourMonday-evening dancing class taughtyou. Or whatyoucanusefromthatbookaboutdirectingmovies in hollywood…<br />Creativity comes through versatility<br />
  29. 29. Usethe booksyoureadto draw analogies, the musicyou listen totobuildstorylines, the presentationsyou gave in the past toinspireyou. Stealfromyourself. A lot.<br />Capitalize on what you already do<br />
  30. 30. …But alwayscustomizetoyour public andto the messageyou want to get across. Usetweetsfromlessthan 24hours agotoillustratesomething, or pictures frompeople in the audiencetocreate a connection. A presentation is never a standard offering.<br />But customize<br />
  31. 31. The purpose of yourpresentationshouldbecrystalclearafteryou gave it, as shouldbe the needyouansweredwithgiving it.<br /> Mine was to show you the relevance of crafting a real story when presenting.<br />& Passion<br />
  32. 32. Tell stories(with Post-its) while stealingversatilecontent from yourself, that you customizein order to reach a purpose.<br />Wrap-up:<br />
  33. 33. To the guys I stolefrom, andwillstealfromagain.<br />Find me on twittervia @eliasveris<br />