Archetypes of Storytelling
In the last few days, I have been practising my storytelling for corporate presentations very seriously. Last week, I gave an excellent presentation to the President and Vice President of the company where I work – in English – of which I am very proud.
And yes, I started with good storytelling that, although it took me a couple of hours to prepare, took me only 7 minutes to tell it. The goal was to show my team’s values of commitment and astuteness to senior management in Seattle, and from what the president said to me at the end of the presentation, I seem to have succeeded.
Storytelling is a powerful weapon that you must learn to use to sell and sell yourself. In the last few months, I have been reading and taking notes on two very good books, unfortunately only in English. Still, I highly recommend reading them if possible: StoryWorthy by Matthew Dicks and The Circle of the 9 Muses by David Hutchens.
Having said this, I intend to delve deeper into this topic because I truly believe that it is a very powerful tool that every leader and salesperson should learn. According to Christopher Booker, the author of “The Seven Basic Plots”, there are only seven archetypes of “basic stories” that are distilled and told by humanity throughout history.
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Now, why should you know this?
Because you must realize that you and your clients or audience have surely gone through one of these archetypes, and if you want to connect deeply with them, you need to take one of these archetypes and tell a story that connects with them.
The 6 Archetypes of Storytelling
1 Defeat the Monster
It’s the classic David vs Goliath story, the kind of story we see in adventure, action, and horror movies. It is where the hero (preferably you) defeats the monster to restore order to the world.
In real life, think of stories like when you faced a bully at school or when you confronted a partner that was trying to be abusive.
2 From Poor to Rich
It is quite common: It is about a character who starts in a truly precarious situation but who, through his cunning, intelligence and skills, manages to reach a happy ending.
This archetype is very easy to apply in real life: Tell the story of your SME, or if you are a Freelancer, talk about how hard it was for you to start and how you almost gave up. Bloggers, Youtubers and others can very easily make a personal story with this archetype.
3 The Search
The hero embarks on a search for a unique and precious object, and during his adventure, he meets various allies and mentors who help him defeat evil.
It is a more complex and detailed version of the previous archetype and is generally applied to presenting companies and ventures: You not only have to talk about how you did it if you do not have to detail more about your alliances, your mentors and about the challenges that your company has faced.
4 The Trip and the Return
Although it sounds similar to The search, this archetype speaks more when the hero travels from his normal world to strange and alien worlds for him/her. Think of “Alice in Wonderland.”
I rarely see this archetype applied in real life. Companies that sell travel accessories – especially to customers who travel abroad constantly – can use it as a sales and marketing resource.
And if you read this well, I think you will know where you can apply this archetype very easily: In the sale of Services.
Imagine your client frustrated because he can’t finish his projects, and his current suppliers are making him look bad with upper management. Delays, lack of support and general abandonment by your competition. But hey! You are already here to listen to him and solve all his problems!
The tragedy is the opposite of Comedy. If you think of a romantic comedy where the characters are happy at the end, in tragedy, you have to think of “Hamlet” or “Romeo and Juliet.”
In real life, I only see a couple of uses for this archetype: You sell insurance, be a family lawyer, or be a writer of self-help books. I am very against using negative emotions with my audience. If you don’t use this in very specific situations and with great care, your potential clients will most likely not want to see you again.
In these stories, there is a threat of the destruction or total corruption of the protagonists. In the end, a series of events – in some cases even Deus Ex Machina-, lead to redemption, rebirth and restoration of the world and the protagonists. Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is the most obvious example.
In real life, you can use this archetype when you talk with your clients for a long time and, based on this talk, see problems that they had not considered and even the consequences of what could happen if they cannot solve these. problems in time. A good leader and a good salesperson will be able to express this positively.
Contemplate where you are and where your potential client is – Remember that all clients are different . And try to understand these archetypes to connect with them in a deeper emotional way and have a better and more profitable relationship with them.
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