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Storytelling Template: How to tell better stories

Did you ever want to sell an idea, a service, or a product, but the other person didn't buy it? Maybe you told the wrong story.

Or, did you ever see a huge problem in an organization, but nobody else shared your feeling? Maybe you told a story that nobody could relate to.

The way you design and tell a story is essential to get the right outcome. The basic idea of great storytelling? That's simple. You can be convinced easier when you are emotionally invested and care.

How to achieve this? With this template, you can build your story to get the desired result and convince the right people. We teach you how to tell better stories with the SCQA principle.

Teaser Story telling templateDownload poster

SCQA-what? The SCQA terminology, which was first introduced by Barbara Minto in 1987 in her book: The Pyramid Principle. SCQA stands for Situation, Complication, Question, and Answer. These are the four components we use to build a story.

Now, what do these components entail?

The situation establishes time and place for the audience by using facts known—for example, 'Everyone makes countless presentations each year.'

The complication is the change that happened to the stable situation that makes you tell your story and entices the audience to listen. It refers to why we should act now—for example, 'Unfortunately, good ideas are killed by bad presentations and bad presenters. As a result, many digital transformation initiatives are rejected.'

A good complication causes your audience to raise a question. The situation and complication: 'Everyone makes countless (bad) presentations each year, killed by bad presenters causing rejections of digital transformation initiatives.'

This raises the question: 'How can we tell better stories and convince our stakeholders to support digital transformation initiatives?'
Manu De Backer

Manu De Backer

Professional storyteller at The Master Labs and The Master Channel

And then in the last part of the story, you give your answer. In this case: 'Use the SCQA and Pyramid Principle structure to tell different kinds of stories.

Applying these in practice will be easy if you think about your story beforehand. Use our template to practice this.

The generic structure gives you a guide to introduce solutions to a problem. Fill in all the boxes according to the definitions. Then you can start building your answer as a step-by-step approach to correct the problem.

The how and why questions used to detail the solution are ordered from left to right as in doing this first, then this, and finally that. Each step is discussed in detail with the relevant arguments.

With these principles, the basis of storytelling has been laid.


Want to find out more about storytelling? Check out our training here.

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