Storytelling: No Longer An Optional Skill – Part 2

Hey, there!

I spend a lot of time preaching how what we do as voice over talent all boils down to one thing: excellent, authentic storytelling.

And, as I said in Part 1 of this series, I’ve come to the conclusion that storytelling is now as essential a skill to us as coding, good manners, tying a proper square knot, getting paid at least what you’re worth, and other life-dependent core strengths.

Here’s more proof.

More and more ads, promos, sales pitches and other audio and video content, each with incredible storytelling, have been going viral recently, from large department stores and their eagerly awaited long-form holiday stories, to some out-of-the-way examples from brands you wouldn’t expect to be spending this much time telling stories.

Here’s another awesome example, from my favorite ride-sharing platform, Lyft.

I only use Lyft. I like the app, the fact that I can tip the driver when I pay, the friendly family atmosphere I feel when I’m picked up by Lyft drivers…as opposed to the antagonistic, in-your-face, eff-you attitude of Uber.

But who would have thought that something as mundane to some as a ride-sharing service would have me sitting at my desk here in Burbank, crying like a baby, as I watched not an ad, or a promo, but a…story.

Watch the whole thing, and see if you have the same reaction (I promise you’ll feel better when you finish watching):

Aw…June!

She finds connections with perfect strangers, and works through personal and vehicular grief?

Makes total sense to me, now that I’ve seen and heard the…story. And makes me want to hail a Lyft even more.

In case you missed the first example of story telling, check out Part 1 here.

What stories have you seen recently that have moved you to act? Drop a comment and a link in the comments below.

Hope this helps.

David

Responses

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  1. Hi David,

    In my day job in corporate learning strategy and during my time as both a grad student and professor in the field, my personal passion and research focus has always been around the question: what is it that really makes people learn, retain, and ultimately, act (i.e.change behavior)? Interestingly, just as marketers discovered years ago the answer to the question: what makes people buy?, among the most potent answers to both questions is: a significant emotional event.

    You are spot on in lauding the power of storytelling. Not only is it the oldest and most human way of communicating, learning, etc., but storytelling works so potently because it reawakens within us one of our greatest human potentials: empathy (courtesy of the aforementioned significant emotional event). When a story is a good story (as in the example you just showed), we become June — because we’ve felt lonely too, etc.

    Forgive me for preaching to the choir. As a gifted actor, you know all this. You just happen to hit upon a subject that I’m obviously quite passionate about too.

    A couple of other recent video examples you should really check out if you haven’t seen them are:

    Apple – Frankie’s Holiday: https://youtu.be/aFPcsYGriEs

    …and…

    Allegro – English for Beginners: https://youtu.be/tU5Rnd-HM6A

    Both of these, as well as the Lyft add you’ve shared, have definitely motivated me to get better at storytelling! Both as a voice actor and designer of instruction.

    Thanks for sharing and for all you do!
    John

    1. It’s amazing how great minds think alike – the Allegro spot is in line for my third installment (it was actually the first spot I saw that prompted me to write this series of articles), and I might extend it to other spots like the apple spot. Thank you!