Unleashing the Power of “In Media Res” Storytelling in Business
Create immediate intrigue with this technique!
The Story of Jack, the AI App Entrepreneur
Welcome back, dear readers! This week's edition of Modern Communication Tips unveils the power of storytelling, metaphors, and emotions in business communication. As promised, I will share with you the fascinating story of Jack, a young entrepreneur who discovered the art of storytelling and reaped its rewards.
Jack, a bright-eyed entrepreneur, had a dream of revolutionizing the world with his AI-based app. He poured his heart and soul into developing the app, believing it held the key to unlocking untold value for customers. But there was a catch: he hadn't quite mastered the art of communication, and thus, failed to convey his app's value to potential clients.
One sunny day, while sipping his non-fat latte at a local café, Jack stumbled upon an article on his phone about the power of storytelling. Intrigued, he delved deeper into the world of stories, metaphors, and emotions, realizing that these elements could help him convey his app's value to customers.
Determined to learn the art of storytelling, Jack immersed himself in the teachings of master storytellers and practiced a variety of storytelling styles. He eventually found his perfect match in the "In Media Res'' approach, which is a Latin phrase that refers to a story that begins part way through its plot, with the missing events filled in later through dialogue, flashbacks, or other techniques.
The “In Media Res” approach to storytelling worked wonders for Jack because it captured the audience's attention from the get-go and kept them engaged throughout the story.
Google’s “In Media Res” Story
During his study of this particular approach to storytelling, Jack was inspired by the famous example of Google's entry into the search engine market.
At the time, there were already many other search engines available, but Google differentiated itself by addressing users' unmet needs and solving unique consumer problems. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin emphasized the innovative PageRank algorithm that provided more relevant search results compared to competitors. The masterful storytelling approach they utilized left a lasting impact on Jack and fueled his desire to implement it in his own narrative.
In the case of Google's entry into the search engine market, Larry Page and Sergey Brin effectively employed the "In Media Res" approach by highlighting the unique problems that users faced with existing search engines and then presenting Google as the innovative solution.
Let's examine how they incorporated the "In Media Res" elements into their narrative:
Choose a pivotal moment: Page and Brin began their story by focusing on the frustration users experienced when trying to find relevant information on the internet. This critical moment of dissatisfaction created an immediate connection with the audience, who could relate to the issue.
Introduce the characters: They presented themselves as the protagonists, two determined innovators set on addressing the unmet needs of internet users. This allowed the audience to empathize with their mission and root for their success.
Build tension and conflict: Page and Brin emphasized the problems with existing search engines, such as slow loading times and irrelevant results. By highlighting these conflicts, they created a sense of urgency for a better solution, which piqued the audience's interest.
Reveal the resolution: They introduced Google's PageRank algorithm as the groundbreaking solution that would revolutionize internet search by providing faster and more accurate results. This revelation positioned Google as the hero that resolved the issues faced by users, making it a compelling choice in the search engine market and eventually the world of business.
Tie it back to the beginning: Finally, Page and Brin connected the dots by recounting the journey of creating Google, from its inception as a research project at Stanford University to its development into a global tech giant. This cohesive narrative not only demonstrated their commitment to innovation but also reinforced the value Google brought to its users.
By applying the "In Media Res" approach to their story, Page and Brin were able to captivate their audience and create a strong connection between users and the Google brand. This storytelling technique played a significant role in Google's rise to prominence and served as a powerful example for Jack in crafting his own narrative.
Jack’s “In Media Res” App Story
Let's revisit the "In Media Res" storytelling approach Jack employed in his narrative and delve deeper into the specific details of how his AI-based app helped Jane, a character he would create and introduce, overcome her struggles:
Choose a pivotal moment: Jack selected a critical point in Jane's journey, where her struggles with customer data management reached their peak. This choice allowed the audience to identify with the protagonist's pain points and understand the urgency of finding a solution. By focusing on this moment, Jack created an immediate connection with the audience, who became more invested in Jane's story.
Introduce the characters: Jack introduced Jane, the small business owner, as the protagonist, and his AI-based app as the solution. By creating a relatable character in Jane, he allowed his audience to empathize with her challenges and root for her success. In contrast, his AI-based app was presented as the hero that could address Jane's specific struggles, making it more appealing to potential customers.
Build tension and conflict: Jack dove into the details of Jane's struggles with customer data management, such as the inefficiencies in organizing data, the inability to draw actionable insights, poor customer engagement, and the challenge of scaling operations. By outlining these conflicts, he painted a vivid picture of the problems his app could solve, increasing the audience's interest in his solution.
Reveal the resolution: Jack detailed how his AI-based app helped Jane by streamlining her customer data management, providing data-driven insights, enabling personalized communication, and supporting her growing customer base. The app's machine learning capabilities allowed it to adapt and improve over time, making it an even more valuable asset for Jane's business. By presenting the app as the hero that resolved Jane's issues, Jack showcased its potential benefits to his audience and increased their likelihood of becoming customers.
Tie it back to the beginning: Finally, Jack circled back to the app's inception and the motivation behind its development. He connected the initial vision of the app to its transformative power in Jane's business, and other business owners like Jane, providing context for his audience and demonstrating the app's capabilities. By creating a cohesive narrative that showcased the app's origin, struggles, and ultimate success, Jack left a lasting impression on his audience and demonstrated the app's potential value.
By elaborating on the details and explaining the 'why' behind each of the five steps in the "In Media Res" approach, Jack effectively conveyed how his AI-based app could address real-world problems and deliver tangible benefits to his potential customers.
Jack found himself using the "In Media Res" approach weaving stories filled with emotion, metaphors, and vivid imagery that resonated with his audience. As he shared these stories, customers flocked to his app, captivated by its potential to change their lives for the better. Jack's brand grew stronger, and his customer base expanded, resulting in higher profits and a renewed sense of purpose.
What can we learn from Jack's story?
The power of storytelling transcends the realm of literature and films; it is a potent tool for business communication as well. By harnessing the power of stories, metaphors, and emotions, entrepreneurs like Jack can connect with their audience and convey their message effectively, ultimately leading to business growth and success.
Next week, we will delve into one of my favorite approaches to communication and persuasion that has helped me settle two million dollar cases the other side originally said were not worth a single dollar. While each took a few years of work and litigation, the end results achieved from this technique was well worth the effort for my clients.
Until then, happy storytelling!
Yours in stories,
2013 California Litigation Lawyer of the Year