The Quest

Obama’s story…

Humans love stories. The most memorable stories always fit into one of 5 basic themes.

Each day this week, we’ll look at one of the five basic themes, because when you shape your narratives to fit one of these themes, they instantly become more powerful.

The better the story you tell, the more it induces an emotional response, and the more ratings success you will have.

If you don’t believe me, think back to the Obama Story of 2007-08. Millions of Americans heard his story, wanted to believe in it, to add their page to it, and voted for him. His story was compelling, and he made it personal.

Obama’s story was a classic, one of the 5 basic themes of life that transcend race and culture. It’s known as: The Quest.

Once his quest was over, many who had been attracted by his story, found him a lot less compelling.

Everyone loves The Quest because we can often project ourselves into the role of hero, and even if we don’t, we can root for the hero. The hero is someone we want to root for.

The outline of this story is always familiar to us, yet we never tire of it.

The hero is a “normal” person, like you or I, who is “called” to action, who faces all sorts of obstacles and set-backs, but who perseveres until eventual triumph.

Sometimes, the hero falls during The Quest, but by their sacrifice we are all ennobled and inspired.

Someone in your city is living The Quest right now. She is battling breast cancer, and has dedicated her life to a cure. He left his medical practice to volunteer to save lives in Afghanistan. They have traveled to China to adopt an orphaned girl, to give her hope, and love, and a family.

When you find your hero, produce their story using both audio and video.

Edit. Even Oscar-winning films use editors.

Use music to enhance mood. If you don’t think the music you use to frame your story is important, do this quick exercise.

Go to Hummingbird Productions. Click on “Hearing is Believing” in the lower left corner, and then listen to the three examples. Music has amazing power to shape your message. (My thanks to old friend, Paul Meachem, for this link.)

Now, get ready for it, because your listeners will always respond to The Quest.




*This series is inspired by an article I read in FORBES magazine.