Universal versus specific in business storytelling

October 2, 2017

Why are so many films about love, or the battle between good and evil, or ‘coming of age?’ Because these are universal themes with which people across cultures or geographies can connect. In a sense, they all speak to our human condition. Universal is that which resonates with all of us.

In Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence, author Lisa Cron describes it as, ‘The universal is the portal that allows us to climb into the skin of characters completely different from us and miraculously feel what they feel.’

But, whether it is a script for Hollywood or your next business story, the universal has to be packaged in the specific to become accessible. Specific makes it tangible for your audience. Specific―what happens to one specific person in a specific moment in time―is when we start to unlock the magic of business storytelling.


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