Storytelling Techniques for Product Teams
Ditch dull presentations. Tell great stories.
Storyteller Tactics is a card deck of 54 storytelling frameworks, prompts and exercises that help you influence and inspire the people you work with.
Designed to guide you through the storytelling process. It takes you from why you need a story, right through to who to tell your story too.
Storyteller Tactics is used by facilitators to run brand, marketing and communications workshops. It’s used by designers and researchers to present and tell the story of their work. And it’s used by entrepreneurs and execs to pitch work and persuade clients.
In the deck, you’ll find: story arcs, persuasion techniques, sales pitches, research methods, story frameworks, copywriting tips and ways to hook people into your story.
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Story Building System
Stories can change the world. See which problems you can solve by combining different story tactics.
Stories that Sell
Convince people that you can deliver. Stories work better than spreadsheets when it comes to building trust.Show your value
Stories that Motivate
Get people behind you. Persuade us to take a leap of faith and support your idea.Make people act
Stories that Connect
Walk a mile in another person’s shoes. Stories are a great way to see things from a different point of view.Get closer to people
Stories that Explain
Bring your strategy to life. Show why those abstract statements matter in the real world.Clarify your goals
Stories that Impress
Present your ideas with confidence. Don’t bury them under dusty layers of business jargon.Nail that presentation!
Stories shape how we see ourselves and the world around us. Frame your work as an epic adventure.
The Dragon & the City
Explain your project as if it’s an epic adventure. Get people excited about your plan of action.Get people excited
Three Great Conflicts
Show how your work helps people with life’s great battles. Conflict drives your story forward, because we want to know how it resolves.Raise the stakes
Secrets & Puzzles
Make your story stick in our minds: promise a secret waiting to be revealed or a puzzle waiting to be solved.Get our attention
Rules, Cheats & Rebels
Tell us a rule, then show someone breaking it. Now you’ve got our attention: will they be punished or vindicated?Keep us hooked
Build your story on solid foundations. Use elements that everyone will recognise.Find common ground
Tell me what grabs your attention and you’re halfway to grabbing my attention too.Explain what drives you
Shock of the Old
We can get so hooked on imagining the future that we forget to look for inspiration in stories from the past.Create intrigue and awe
Stories help us navigate confusing, unknown and changing situations. Make a map for your way ahead.
Listen to other people’s stories when you need their wisdom or support. Don’t just talk at them!Get insights from others
Look for strong emotions when you need to find a story. What made you feel that way and what happened next?Find your story’s heart
Every time you fail there’s a story to tell--and plenty of people ready to listen.Learn from mistakes
You can tell a great story about your project by finding "That’s funny ... " moments in your work.Find unexpected insights
You’re in a busy room. Suddenly a fire alarm goes off. What do you do?Establish credibility
Stories connect us to other people. Show us why we can trust you.
Trust Me, I’m an Expert
Win my trust. Tell me a story that shows your character and values in action.Win our trust
What’s My Motivation?
How will your user or customer respond to your idea? It helps if you know what’s driving them.Figure people out
Hero & Guide
Stop talking about yourself. Make your user the Hero of your story. You play a supporting role: the Expert Guide.Help others succeed
What’s It About?
Me: "So what are you working on?"
You: "Umm ... well ... er ... " Don’t be that person.
Stories are more effective than facts or opinions by themselves. Put your stories to work.
Convince me to back your idea. Show me: what have you got that I need? And why should I trust you to deliver?Sell your idea
Simple Sales Stories
Convince new customers to buy into your idea by telling stories about existing customers or users.Win new customers
Stories carry us along thanks to a few basic patterns. Make your ideas flow in a story-ish way.
Man in a Hole
This is the story of your first day at school or your first job. It’s every fear you faced and every lesson you’ve learned.Show lessons learned
Rags to Riches
Cinderella, Rocky or Steve Jobs-it’s the same story.The rise to success from humble beginnings.Show hidden value
Pride & Fall
This is one of the oldest stories we know. Icarus, Frankenstein and Titanic all follow its arc.Convince your skeptics
Macbeth, Harvey Weinstein and Nokia: they all had a hidden flaw that brought them down.Learn from failure
Voyage & Return
Put adventure and the ties of home at the heart of your story. This will keep us hooked til the end.Focus on change
Keep these Ts in your back pocket in case someone puts you on the spot and you need to tell a story right now!Shape your story
Stories carry useful information. Make sure people remember yours.
Tell me a story and a little movie starts playing in my head. I literally "see" what you mean.Help us see
Craft a compelling hook at the start of your story. It will keep us listening til the end.Grab our attention
Rolls Royce Moment
"Cruising at 60mph, the loudest noise inside the Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock."Make it vivid
Leave it Out!
Tell us you’ve left something out and we will work hard to fill in the gap. And then we feel like it’s our story too.Create some mystery
Stories work, so long as you use them well. Plan how you should tell yours.
Keep track of your stories-and the information behind them-if you don’t want to lose our trust.Collect your best stories
Big, Small, Inside, Outside
You might have a Big Story to tell the world. But you’ll spend more time telling small stories to colleagues.Tell the right story