What Warren Miller can teach you about storytelling

Today, the annual [Warren Miller film tour stops] in my home state. I’m not attending, unfortunately, but have been a fan of his since being introduced to them by my Marty Balkema.

I’m not a skier but Marty thought I’d enjoy his movies since I was a fan of surf films like Bruce Brown’s Endless Summer. He was right.

What you can learn from Miller’s films is how to educate, entertain, and inspire an audience. Telling stories about your organization, brand, or cause can use these elements to connect with your audience.

Educate: Each segment of the film highlights an extraordinary ski destination explored by world-class athletes. The viewer is taught about the location and its uniqueness by experiencing it through the eyes of the skiers. This is important. The education provides context for your audience to become characters in the story.

Entertain: Stories should be fun and entertaining. Miller achieves this with witty dialogue from the narrator, humorous wipeouts from the skiers, and a dynamic soundtrack. This ensures the pacing of the story will move at an engaging speed for the audience.

Inspire: Above all else, Warren Miller’s movies touch the hearts of their audience. In this case, the desire for all skiers is to chase winter and fresh powder around the world. When your stories pull on the heartstrings of your audience, connections are made.

When your stories educate, entertain, and inspire they will be memorable and your audience will develop an appetite for them.

Think about the stories you tell. What are you doing to make a connection with your audience? What are you doing to make your story memorable?

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