We’re wrapping up our Storytelling Series based on the marketing book, Made to Stick (Amazon link) by Chip Heath and Dan Heath today. We have broken down the Challenge Plot and the Creativity Plot and how nonprofits can use them in their stories.
Today we look at:
The Connection Plot
Of the three different story plots, this one is the hardest to pull off. If you don’t get it right, your story will sound sappy or manipulative. But like the others, if you can identify the different parts and find the right way to string them together, you’ll have a very powerful story.
Connection stories are the “bridging the gap” stories and “big meaning in small events” stories.
Start with a small, specific situation or event, and then look for the larger connection to the greater human experience. These stories usually have a little surprise or epiphany in them that really drives the point home. It’s a nice little story, but the meaning doesn’t become really profound until you add in those last few surprising details or revelations. You’ll see heartfelt connections between the people in the stories and also between the storyteller and the reader.
Once you know what to listen for, you’ll begin to hear story snippets all around you that sound like the chorus of a familiar song. Then you just need to do a little investigating to fill in the verses. You’ll have great stories to tell for your appeal letters, newsletters, websites, and other communications.
What You Need to Write the Connection Plot:
- A small, specific situation or event
- Connections within the story and with the reader’s heart/soul
- A surprise, discovery, or epiphany
- A connection to a greater, universal human experience
List the small events that have much larger meaning for your organization.