Best of Digital Summit 2020: Chris Yeh on More Effective Storytelling Tips

December 23, 2020

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We’re celebrating and spotlighting some of our favorite, highest rated sessions from our Digital Summit at Home events from 2020. In this recap, we feature Chris Yeh (@chrisyeh), best-selling author and Founder of Global Scaling Academy, who gave a wonderful session at DS at Home November, on how to be a more effective storyteller.


Storytelling is one facet of marketing that many of us often struggle with, yet it is very important tactic for connecting with our audience and building relationships. The difference between a story and a good story lies in going beyond simply telling the facts about a situation and creating emotional resonance with the listener.

In this session, Chris Yeh provides some fantastic pointers on how we can become more effective storytellers and deliver messages that reach our audiences in a meaningful way.

What is a Story? (2:45)

Yeh defines a story as how you explain the world to an audience. Many parallels can be drawn between how stories are created for entertainment, such as movies, and for business. A well-known method of storytelling, known as the Pixar Model, has direct application for how brands tell their own story. The purpose for storytelling in the business world is to persuade your audience, including you customers, employees, media, etc.

PRO TIP: Consider how the Pixar model of storytelling can help you craft your brand story.

Knowing Your Audience (7:20)

It is important to keep in mind that your audience does not truly care what you do; rather, they care about what you can do to make their life better. Research and data can help inform brands about what their audience values and is motivated by, allowing a story to be tailored to their concerns.

PRO TIP: Take the time to ASK your audience what it is that they want instead of TELLING them what they want. This will allow you to better craft a story that resonates with them.

Telling the Story (9:20)

The standard order of a story is to describe the problem, describe the solution, and then describe the success in an efficient manner. However, this does not necessarily provide dramatic tension that captures the audience. Yeh has a trick that he incorporates into his storytelling structure for brands: he describes success before describing the solution to introduce dramatic tension. By painting the picture of a successful result, you capture the audience’s interest in learning how they can achieve this. 

PRO TIP: Focus on the success of your audience before telling them what you can do for them in order to speak to their needs.

Practice Makes Perfect (15:20)

As with most things in life, the key to becoming an effective storyteller is practice. However, this does not mean that you should practice your storytelling with your desired audience. Marketers can utilize rapid prototyping to test the effectiveness of stories before delivering to their actual audience.

PRO TIP: Instead of practicing you story in the mirror or in your head, deliver your story to a live person. This can be anyone who can play the role of your audience and provide helpful feedback before you use it in a business pitch or other real-world setting.

A strong story can be the baseline for an effective marketing strategy. As you develop and refine your brand story, keeping these tips in mind will help you to capture your audience in a powerful way.

To hear from experts like Chris and hundreds of others that teach at Digital Summit, check out our 2021 calendar of virtual and in-person events.

Kick off 2021 with a bang and join us on January 27 for Digital Summit Go!, a FREE 1-day online event featuring 12 of our best speakers. Hear 12 rapid fire talks on Content, Social, Email, and SEO with tons of actionable takeaways to help your marketing soar in the new year. Did we mention that it’s FREE? 🙂

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