I hope everyone has had a productive and successful week.
As has been the case for us this semester, Will and I have been scrambling around trying to cover all of our academic responsibilities, and to push our business forward the best way we can. The mixture of schoolwork and business has brought about many late evenings and early rises in the morning, but it has also provided ample opportunities for me to adjust my perspective on how I approach efforts in this business.
One of the things I have been focusing on throughout the entirety of this venture’s lifespan is the skill of storytelling. Pretty much any conversation, pitch, email, phone call, etc. involves the telling of our story. I know this is an area with lots of room for improvement, and it is really why I wanted to start writing these weekly blogs. I think that the consistency and ability to measure “success” week to week through our website analytics will help me develop and advance this skill of writing and communicating effectively.
In my Spanish Literature class this week I had to give a presentation on two different testimonies that we have been examining over the past weeks. We were given free reign surrounding the topic, so I chose to look at the efficacy of the “storytelling” in each of these two testimonies. The main point to note was that one was an account of a single woman. She used a personal narrative while blending her own experiences with the other experiences of those in her community. The other testimony was more of a conglomerate of different individual's testimonies from the same event. One story became very popular, and the other sort of didn't. This measure of “success” is based on the fact that a Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to one and not the other. The winner? The woman who used a personal narrative. Why do I think this was more effective as a medium to share a collective story? Because it followed a framework for storytelling that has been tried and tested for thousands of years. Some date this framework back to Aristotle who identified good stories as having three distinct characteristics.
- A Protagonist
- An Obstacle or Hardship
- A Resolution or Conclusion
The woman (Rigoberta Menchu, for those interested in digging deeper) used her own experience as a vessel to communicate the tragic story of all of the people in her community. I don’t know if it is entirely accurate to cite this storytelling framework as the reason why her story resonated with a global audience and the other didn't, but I certainly do think it played a part. I think that by infusing the collective experience into the experience her own “character” Rigoberta was able to tell a better story. It is unfortunate that her story is one of loss and tragedy, but her purpose in telling it was to raise awareness. I would say she was successful in doing just that.
Why am I writing about my Spanish presentation? Maybe it’s because I feel the need to make up for my rough explanation in Spanish surrounding my thesis, argument, and findings, or maybe it’s because in a long-windy-road sort of way, it has enlightened me in my efforts to learn how to tell a better story. As Will and I work through the rest of our final semester, I have no doubt that we both will encounter more areas that change our perspective. I strive to learn consistently and to apply these new principles across different channels in my life. For now, I think that means experimenting with how I frame my storytelling, and being sure to try and use this three part structure to drive an emotional and lasting connection with my audience. Whoever they may be.
- We have an affiliate marketing program! Influencers? welcome! Clubs needing to fundraise? Welcome! Individuals who think they can make a few bucks on a sale? Welcome!
- Dunsel’s will be going all the way to the finals for the 2021 Innolevation Challenge! We are aiming for the top...
- We are officially launching our new product! The Dopp Kit! This smaller bag is a travel friendly toiletry or makeup bag. We are using the scrap material from our tote bags to manufacture these products. This means we are one step closer to a completely closed loop in our manufacturing process. Check the Dopp Kit out here!
That’s all for this week. Out of curiosity have any of you seen or heard of any other story-telling frameworks? I know that Dan Harmon almost exclusively uses “The hero’s journey” for every episode of Rick and Morty he writes. Let me know in the comments below!