These days, storytelling is a trending topic. But is there an actual formula for how to tell a great story? And are there any tips for how to do this well in a business? That’s what we invited our friend Patrick to Crowdcast Talks this week to find out.

Patrick has worked with some of the biggest brands out there — like AT&T, Apple, Toyota and the NFL — and has won 5 Emmys for his work with his team of filmmakers. He’s taught for Canon, Vimeo and YouTube and worked alongside Jonah Berger and Paul Zak at the intersection of storytelling and virality.

So what did we learn from our chat?

How to tell a great story

“The idea of storytelling is thrown around all over the place but there’s often not a very clear way to do it.”

According to Patrick, there is a formula. In fact, there are 4 pillars of a great story.

  1. People. Who’s in the story? What do they desire? The stronger the character and their desire, the more we feel something and the better we connect to the story.
  2. Places. Where does the story happen? This context is what creates trust.
  3. Purpose. Why are you telling the story? Your “why” is key — this is what lets people remember your message.
  4. Plot. What’s the structure of your story? A good plot is key to keeping your audience engaged.

It turns out that if any one of these is missing, the story is weaker. A great story is about maximizing all four of these essential ingredients.

A few other takeaways:

For these insights and more, click here to watch the full replay.

Want more?

Check out Patrick’s storytelling course here. Interested in joining our next live talk? Follow us here.