By Jeffrey Hedquist
You know that stories are one of the most powerful ways to get and keep your audience’s attention, to motivate them and instill your message in their memories. Emotion is the electricity that does the work.
Inside each of us is a universe of stories. The emotionally charged ones have helped make us who we are. Want to always have stories to use in your radio commercials? Think back and make a list of those emotional markers in your life.
What times in your life were the most emotional, defining, powerful, or life changing? You’ll know because when you mentally relive them, you’ll feel them in your heart and gut. Interestingly, if the stories are told well, that’s exactly where the listener will feel them. And that’s where buying decisions are made.
Here are some starter questions to ask yourself:
When was I a know-it-all? When have I let someone down? When have I lost a love? When didn’t I take responsibility? When have I lied, cheated, misjudged?
When did I overcome obstacles? When have I stepped out of my comfort zone to succeed? When have I lifted someone up? When has someone’s example changed my life? When did I discover a hidden talent?
If you ask yourself these questions or similar ones, you’ll unearth memories, which you can use to craft stories for your advertisers. They’ll have power because they’re real.
It could be about your first day at school, when you first fell in love, something you remember that your Grandpa told you, a funny saying from one of your kids. Write just enough description so you can recall the story later.
Although each of us is a unique individual, there are some experiences we all share. If you can touch the hearts of listeners with one that resonates with them, it will trigger the specific memory in their lives.
If every day you set aside 5 minutes to write down a short description of a few of those stories, you’ll never run out of material for effective commercials. Then, when it’s time to write a spot, match a story with the advertiser and target audience and see what happens – storytelling, memory-making, result-getting magic.
© 2004 Hedquist Productions, Inc.