The Art of Storytelling

(from Attajaan Ramji author of: 10 Things I learned about Branding this week)

Recently, Sleeping Barber was at a conference. As the founder Marc Binkley got on stage to begin his talk I noticed how captive the audience was and how they hung to his every word. Marc took them through his journey of how Sleeping Barber came about and after his presentation, had a great number of people approach him and ask him questions. It made perfect sense, because of Marc’s honesty and his story, the audience was intrigued.  At that moment it became very clear that storytelling is really an art form. I then chose to apply that concept into my work, beginning with my blogs.

Every story is based on a similar structure, take for instance Freytags dramatic story structure.

Freytags Pyramid


According to Freytag, a story has an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denoument. This is also the structure of effective communication. We begin with an intro, we talk about events leading up to the main point of the story, and if we are talking about an event that has already occurred, we react to the main point and then finally a result.

Why is this such an effective way to communicate?

The audience becomes engaged from the beginning and they join the speaker on a journey.  The audience themselves become invested in the story.  Now, whatever the subject is, they feel that they have a personal connection to it.

So why is it that we don’t utilize this structure more in the office?

Don’t you think that if there was a story being told within the presentation, more people would pay greater attention to it? Now that I’ve got your head nodding, let’s try to apply this art form at the office and see how much more focused everyone seems. All you need to do is to personalize your next presentation and tell a story. Try it!

Please feel free to leave comments below and tell me about your experience.


Sources: 1. Nancy Duarte – TedXEast Talk. 2. Freytag Dramatic Story Structure.



  1. In Sales this is needed…

    1. I agree Tommy. Thanks for reading it. There are a growing number of great books out there on storytelling for sales. One of the best I’ve read for salespeople is Resonate by Nancy Duarte.

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