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Can a compelling story be 350 characters short?

Audiences are important for the story, but the length is not so.

Pitch is concise communication, but it still needs a story.

What's with the storytelling, anyway?

The importance of storytelling is beaming through every second blog or social media post, and some people become wary of the word's overuse. Marketing and salespeople drop the term more often, washing off the essence of the idea, and still, there are not so many good stories in business, though everyone is a self-proclaimed storyteller or a storytelling coach.

Storytelling: a buzzword or a necessity?

No doubt that storytelling can be very powerful. Who can deny the storytelling genius of Steve Jobs or the environmentalistic angle of Patagonia? Apple, Airbnb, Tesla, and Warby Parker created a wave of imitators and still serve as examples of a beautiful narrative in an ugly business world.

But most companies and founders decided to be consistently loud in the communication channels and consider it storytelling. Self-praise and oversharing is not storytelling, and the result of it is often the opposite to wishful engagement with audiences.

Overall, storytelling can help businesses to create an emotional connection with customers, make messages more memorable, differentiate themselves from competitors, inspire action, and establish trust. By harnessing the power of storytelling, businesses can build stronger relationships with customers, so it is worth trying.

What makes a compelling story?

In a simplistic view, a compelling story should have interesting characters, a challenge, an inventive way to solve the challenge, and a reliable arch to the changed, better world compared to the starting point.

These elements are enough to create an engaging narrative. It can be a 1000 pages book, but it can be a 350 characters card, too.

The length of a story is not what makes it compelling, but rather its ability to connect with the reader emotionally and convey a message effectively. In fact, some of the most powerful stories ever told are very short.

How to tell a great story in a pitch card?

"She always wore her hair in a tight bun. It wasn't until she died that they found out why." -- It is just two sentences, but it is a story.

Treat a pitch card as a landscape for a story! There's a header to set up characters and an intriguing opening. Continue in the body with an exciting challenge and your way to solve it. Finish with a description of a better world! But please do not just say "a better world," be more specific. Great storytellers hate cliches, and you should, too!


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