Making words more attractive to the eyes and ears of those who receive them, to the point of commanding their full attention, is fundamental to creating quality bonds with people, and this also applies to brands and companies. In “Storytelling: Cativando com a Narrativa”, published by Almedina Brasil, technology specialist, writer, photographer and filmmaker José Antônio Ramalho brings together the theoretical and practical foundations necessary for anyone who wants to master the art of telling good stories. Tales.
As a multimedia professional reference, the author built a successful career in several areas because storytelling is part of his DNA. He graduated in computer engineering from Universidade Mackenzie in 1984, started writing technical books and started working in other areas. He has published 123 works on technology, Greek mythology, photography and adventure, translated into many languages including English, Spanish, Polish and Chinese. Along with Álvaro Garner, he also conceived and co-organized the 4th season of the show “50 por 1” and several travel documentaries.
In this title, Ramalho shares his expertise to help brands engage their audience and keep them curious about the message being conveyed. The storytelling technique allows content to be conveyed through a well-developed plot, with an engaging narrative, using a set of words and appropriate audiovisual resources. The idea of this guide is to incorporate techniques into the reader’s routine to reach your audience effectively.
Working with current technologies, the author presents best practices for engaging the public and improving professional or personal projects. Ramalho also addresses the suitability of the story’s format for the target audience; emotion management; application of generally accepted narrative structures; and storytelling skills.
“Storytelling: Cativando com a Narrativa” unites theory and practice through suggested activities in several areas of human cognition. In addition, it provides a series of exercises that help in the development of creative solutions. The book highlights the value of authentic narratives combined with a persuasive attitude that will change the trajectory of the reader. Check out the interview!
Helping to create healthy connections between companies and audiences, you recently launched the book “Storytelling: Cativando com a Narrativa”, where you teach the art of telling good stories. In your opinion, what qualifies a good story and what has been the main mistake of current companies when trying to tell theirs?
The essence of a good story is its ability to engage people’s feelings and touch their emotions. It doesn’t matter if the story is fiction, a documentary or a corporate presentation. When that happens people may forget when or who told the story, but they will always remember it.
Companies make mistakes when they don’t humanize the stories they tell. For example, instead of saying the qualities of a product and making it the center of the story, they should tell the story of the people who benefit from the product and how their lives are better with its use.
When dealing with the public, it is always visible that we are talking about people who have different categories, as well as tastes that identify, cultures, among several other aspects, and that depending on the objectives of that company, it will have to learn to deal with. Taking this versatility into account, is it possible to create a cake recipe to relate to your audience or does each case become a case?
Both. Hardly a story will please Greeks and Trojans. The ideal would be to tell a version for each group considering their values. When we cannot restrict communication to a specific group, which gives us more ability to choose the most appropriate language, we must make use of metaphors and analogies that are common to most. For example, a national communication must avoid regionalisms that may not be well understood by part of the audience.
With a degree in computing from Universidade Mackenzie, you have a career that has been going on for a long time, since the 1980s, and today you have the art of storytelling in the DNA of your work. What most attracted you to study computing and what led you to the multimedia path?
What I wanted most when I grew up was to become an astronaut or a Formula 1 driver. I didn’t achieve either, but a component of my personality is curiosity. Always looking to discover new things and computing, at that time, was something that was expanding in Brazil. I saw an opportunity there to learn and be able to specialize in something that I thought was promising.
In parallel with college, I started teaching computer science classes and there was no literature in Portuguese on the subjects, the software, that I taught. So, I created a first handout that later became my first book. I became a technology journalist and traveled extensively to cover events abroad. Then I started photographing places and writing about travel.
With that, I started writing for different audiences and had to develop a specific language for each one. Moved by curiosity and the web of life, I ended up exploring other themes as well. A trip to Greece awakened my passion for Greek Mythology and led me to write a collection of books for children.
Regarding literature, you have more than 123 works in various areas such as technology, Greek mythology, photography and adventure that have been translated into several languages. In this question of approach on different different themes, do you consider it suitable for tudology? How important were the studies to the construction of each of these works?
Here I go back to talking about the spring that drives my life. The curiosity. I want to have an answer for everything, so I try, within my limitations, to study the themes and expand my knowledge base. Today Google or ChatGPT can solve your doubt, but you only acquire knowledge when you store it within yourself. The knowledge you acquire in one area helps a lot in others. It is a continuous cycle of learning. That said, it’s important to remember that one of the hallmarks of a good storyteller is being a great listener. Some people insist on spontaneously giving their opinion on many topics, which sometimes causes discomfort and even a negative image. Despite writing about different areas, I try to compartmentalize this knowledge. It’s not uncommon for me to hear something like: are you the same Ramalho who writes about technology? In short, I think it’s important for people to discover what you know rather than being bombarded with your knowledge.
Together with Álvaro Garnero, you presented the 4th season of the program “50 por 1” on RecordTV, in addition to several documentaries about travel. What was it like to go through that experience on television?
It was something unexpected and opened new horizons for me to tell stories. I learned a lot. From the conception of the idea of “Around the world in 80 days” to the creation of the geographical route and the stories that would be told in each location, all in a very dynamic way, it was challenging. That was considered the show’s best season. After that experience, I added video production to my toolkit as a storyteller.
As the main objective of this work, you wanted to share your expertise in helping brands and engaging the audience and, above all, keeping them curious about the message you want to convey through your campaigns. In this regard, do you believe that every entrepreneur or individual can benefit from the storytelling technique? How is it present in our daily lives, despite sometimes not realizing it?
Without a doubt, Storytelling is part of everyone’s life, professionally or personally. Every day we live a chapter of our history. Some days we are protagonists, on others supporting characters, but most of us didn’t have specific teachings to write and act in this story. The book is concerned with awakening in the reader the desire to take control of his story and use recognizably efficient techniques and knowledge. All accompanied by a lot of practice. In each chapter, the reader has activities to apply what he just learned.
Nowadays, the presence of brands on social networks is becoming increasingly essential for business success, including branding, which helps to convey the message that the brand wants to convey to the public. Regarding the audience on the platforms, which has been more difficult – winning new ones or keeping the ones we already have?
The spraying of communication channels promoted by social networks has taken away much of the power of brands that no longer control who talks about their products and their image. Personally, I find it more challenging to maintain what we have, but acquiring new ones is a fundamental part of business continuity.
With everything we learn about storytelling in the book, we really see how important it is to our success, and especially how every detail ends up being crucial to guarantee it. On the other hand, can the failed application of resources and techniques cause challenges for those who want to recover their image?
Retrieving an image is much more difficult than obtaining it. What has been created for years can be lost in one unfortunate post. So yes, a poorly told story ruins the reputation of brands and people. But if we focus on conveying a true, ethical story that, through feelings, touches the emotions of the public, we will be creating a solid road to captivate the audience. Through the site https://storytelling.ramalho.com.br readers can learn more about the theme and the book.
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