Chatbots can't tell stories

Robot image created by DALL-E 2

Well, to be more precise, they can't tell REAL stories.

Have fun with Chat GPT: ask it to pitch a story loosely based on your own life ("a middle aged man spending too much time on his bike") and you'll get a Hollywood treatment that stands up to a first reading. Same goes if you ask for a marketing script for your product.

The words make sense and that's one hell of an achievement. But the story is a bit... on-the-nose. Generic. Vanilla. It's what you'd expect from a smart graduate who's read a book on screenwriting but hasn't really been listening to you. Worse still, it just cheats and makes stuff up. Plausible, but ultimately unreal.

I put this to Chat GPT: "Is it harsh to call you a BS artist?"
"That's not appropriate," the AI replied. "Chat GPT isn't a person and can't intentionally deceive others."

Ok, I take it back. But here's the problem. AI can produce generic copy faster than you can. Platforms are going to be awash with generic copy. YOU need to stand out, and ironically, AI can help.

Ask the AI to write your copy. This is the generic baseline you need to move on from.
1. Make it more vivid: pick a pivotal moment when something really happened to a real person and tell us more.
2. Make it emotional: tell us how that person felt, because this connects the story to us humans in your audience.
3. Give us the meaning. Tell us what he, she or you learned.

Movie Time and Rolls Royce Moment will help your real story stand out.

Story-ish Conversations will help you find another person's real story.

And that's something the bots will never do.*

*Unless they've also been reading Storyteller Tactics...

Level up your career with Pip Club

Join 42,576 leaders who get unique advice every week on storytelling, leadership and productivity - plus exclusive how-to guides, first-dibs on upcoming Pip Decks and our very best discounts.

No spam, no email sharing - ever. Privacy Policy

One of the few newsletters I look forward to.
— Dave Cunningham, Head of DesignOps @ NHS

1-3-5 rule for Storyteller Tactics
1-3-5 rule for Storyteller Tactics
Get started with storytelling - fast! These stories you can tell in one, three or five minutes.
Read More
Find your story - FAST!
Find your story - FAST!
Get started RIGHT NOW with a one-two combination of Storyteller Tactics!
Read More
Four ways to tell a story about new tech.
Four ways to tell a story about new tech.
Where's your audience at? That'll shape what kind of story you tell.
Read More