Project Narration

A couple of notes towards a communication strategy for innovation teams.



The art of storytelling

We’ve all heard both stories that have affected us intellectually and emo tionally and others that have fallen flat. So what makes for a great story?

In “The Four Truths of the Storyteller” (Harvard Business Review, 2007), Peter Guber argues that people are most moved and captivated by stories that reflect honest and openly communicated values and are true to the teller, the audience (who walk away with a story worth owning the moment (which makes the story spontaneously different every time it is narrated), and the mission, in that the storyteller is devoted to a cause greater than herself,

The story needs to whet the audience’s appetite for what’s to follow, and deliver on the promise through emotional fulfilment. For the story to be successful, it needs to make the audience take ownership-to retell it in their own terms, while retaining its mission. It may seem contra dictory, but intense preparation for, and a deep understanding of the material being shared supports spontaneity, allowing the researcher to ad-lib with confidence.

— Jan Chipchase, Field Study Handbook

Make it sticky

Good insights and ideas can get lost if they are not also easy to communicate. Simple language and frameworks help ensure design and development work is more naturally grounded in user insights. Creating a ‘sticky’ language for these findings helps key insights become memorable and therefore actionable as part of everyday decision-making.

 —  Helsinki Design Lab, Legible Practices