Create Your Story, Then Deconstruct It

Today’s communicator works inside a riddle: with so many audiences and channels, is it possible to deliver a message that reaches its target, grabs attention and is understood as intended?

While there’s no one way to resolve the riddle all the time, every time, the following tips should help save your content from becoming lost in construction, translation or distribution.


Annette Simmons has dedicated her professional life to exploring the value of storytelling in business, and in her book, “The Story Factor,” she illustrates the magic that happens beyond communicating “just the facts.”

A man came upon a construction site where three people were working.  He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am building a wall.” As he approached the third, he heard him humming a tune as he worked, and asked, “What are you doing?” The man stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I am building a cathedral!”

When you share a vision, personal insight, or express an invitation, you create ways for the viewer to engage your content and invest their own emotions and experience.


Often, it’s the unusual or unexpected that causes us to invest parts of who we are into a story.

I see GEICO commercials leverage this approach to maximum effect, first introducing us to cavemen as company reps and continuing to use disparate people and plots to grab our attention.

One way to introduce creative hooks into your story is to think in opposition to your goals, a creative exercise that flows something like this:

·       Know the facts, figures, and messaging of your video content.

·       Sketch how your story unfolds, including visual assets and other treatments you are considering.

·       Mentally disassemble everything to think about an alternate, or opposite, approach. You want to motivate buying; what might reality look like if no one buys? You’re creating emotional serenity; what happens if your characters live in chaos?

“Deconstructive creativity” can help uncover ways to tell your story in a surprising, memorable way and even prove fruitful in design, from colors to tone and attitude.


Storytelling is a form of alchemy, as you are challenged to create magic while allowing magic to happen.

Consider gaming, where the experience results from unique, moment-by-moment choices made by the player.

Today, working with the right video production company video can offer similar rewards to the viewer.

Engaging video professionals early in your planning will maximize the impact of your story and enhance the viewer experience, including:

·       alternate plot lines;

·       extended content;

·       related products and services; and

·       membership to online communities.

Professional video production also will help you assess how best to solicit feedback and motivate sharing so your story continually generates new interest and followers.

Happy magic-making!